Cheney brushes off questions on Senate

Cheney brushes off questions on Senate
© Greg Nash

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOvernight Defense: Pompeo blames Iran for oil tanker attacks | House panel approves 3B defense bill | Trump shares designs for red, white and blue Air Force One House panel approves 3B defense policy bill House panel approves 3B defense policy bill MORE (R-Wyo.) brushed aside questions about a possible Senate bid on Wednesday, saying she had no announcements to make.

Cheney, the House Republican Conference Chairwoman, is seen as a favorite to succeed the retiring Sen. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziBeware of the 'unknown knowns' of budget reform The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa MORE (R-Wyo.) if she decides to run for the Senate. But she’s also the third-ranking House Republican leader, meaning she could also have a bright future in the lower chamber.

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“I don't have any announcements to make about that other than to say how privileged I am to call Mike Enzi friend,” Cheney, who challenged the retiring senator in a primary in 2014 before withdrawing from the race.

“What a tremendous mentor he has been — he's going to be in the Senate for another 18 months,” she told reporters at a press conference Wednesday.  

“I look forward to continuing doing work for people back in Wyoming, with [Sen.] John [Barrasso (R-Wyo.)] and Mike [Enzi] with our whole delegation and working here with our leader, Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe case for congressional pay raises McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' MORE [R-Calif.] and our Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseThe case for congressional pay raises The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Biden, Sanders to share stage at first DNC debate MORE [R-La.] on the issues we've been talking about the matter so much the American people,” she added.

One GOP lawmaker said the nomination is likely hers if she wants it, arguing she could stave off the field until she ultimately decides to make her decision.

“I mean, this doesn't happen very often, and remember she, went to run for it last time. She doesn't have to make a decision soon,” the lawmaker said. “I think she could hold the people at bay for a while.”

Cheney attended a fundraiser for Alabama Senate-hopeful Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneOvernight Defense: Latest on House defense bill markup | Air Force One, low-yield nukes spark debate | House Dems introduce resolutions blocking Saudi arms sales | Trump to send 1,000 troops to Poland Overnight Defense: Latest on House defense bill markup | Air Force One, low-yield nukes spark debate | House Dems introduce resolutions blocking Saudi arms sales | Trump to send 1,000 troops to Poland House panel votes to restrict possible changes to Air Force One design MORE (R) on Monday, which some took as a signal that she has her eyes set on the upper chamber.

“She and I are very close friends, so on a personal basis, I'd love to see her over in the Senate," Byrne said. “On the other hand, she's doing a terrific job for our conference here. She's providing leadership that we really need at this point in time now that we're in the minority. I think she provides an incredibly important role here.”

A recent rule passed by the Republican conference would require members of leadership to relinquish their role should they announce they are seeking higher office.

In response to a question on whether conference rules could be amended to allow her to remain in her position through the end of her term in the event of a Senate announcement, McCarthy said no decision had been made.