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Second-ranking House GOP leader backs ouster of Cheney

House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseDemocrat says he won't introduce resolution to censure Greene after her apology House fails to pass bill to promote credit fairness for LGTBQ-owned businesses The Memo: Homegrown extremism won't be easily tamed MORE (R-La.) in a statement is supporting the ouster of Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyGOP's Stefanik defends Trump DOJ secret subpoenas McCarthy pushes back on Biden criticism of GOP at NATO Democrat Matt Putorti challenges Stefanik for NY House seat MORE (R-Wyo.) from her leadership position, calling for Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikHouse fails to pass bill to promote credit fairness for LGTBQ-owned businesses GOP's Stefanik defends Trump DOJ secret subpoenas McCarthy pushes back on Biden criticism of GOP at NATO MORE (R-N.Y.) to replace her as House Republican Conference chair.

“House Republicans need to be solely focused on taking back the House in 2022 and fighting against Speaker Pelosi and President BidenJoe BidenMellman: Trump voters cling to 2020 tale FDA authorizes another batch of J&J vaccine Cotton warns of China collecting athletes' DNA at 2022 Olympics MORE’s radical socialist agenda, and Elise Stefanik is strongly committed to doing that, which is why Whip Scalise has pledged to support her for Conference Chair," Scalise’s spokesperson, Lauren Fine, said in a statement. 

The statement was first reported by Punchbowl News.

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Cheney is in hot water with her colleagues for repeatedly criticizing former President TrumpDonald TrumpKushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MORE. She survived an effort to oust her from the third-ranking House GOP position earlier this year, but with Scalise and his boss, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse fails to pass bill to promote credit fairness for LGTBQ-owned businesses Democrats weigh next steps on Jan. 6 probe McCarthy pushes back on Biden criticism of GOP at NATO MORE (R-Calif.), now backing the effort, she seems assured of leaving her position.

Top allies of McCarthy have already vowed to remove Cheney from the top leadership spot, arguing that the No. 3 Republican has repeatedly undermined GOP messaging and efforts to take back control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections.

“There is no way that Liz will be conference chair by month’s end,” one key McCarthy ally told The Hill on Monday.

“When there is a vote, it won’t be a long conference; it will be fast. Everyone knows the outcome,” the ally said.

A hot mic incident reported by Axios Tuesday signaled the House GOP leader’s growing frustration with Cheney.

“I've had it with her. You know, I've lost confidence,” McCarthy told a Fox News host in an off-camera exchange.

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“Well, someone just has to bring a motion” to oust her, he continued, “but I assume that will probably take place."

Cheney again criticized Trump this week over statements claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him. She called it the "big lie" and said those backing it were hurting democracy. 

“The 2020 presidential election was not stolen,” Cheney tweeted. “Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.”

On Wednesday, Cheney spokesperson Jeremy Adler said in a statement to The Hill, "This is about much more than a House leadership fight."

"Liz will have more to say in the coming days," he added.

The House Republican Conference has just 31 women, and Cheney is the only woman in leadership. That's led to pressure to replace her with another woman.

Stefanik, who has offered vigorous support for Trump and defended the president during his first impeachment trial, has emerged as the most likely to succeed Cheney.

Other rivals are dropping out of the race in recognition of that fact. 

Punchbowl reported that Rep. Jackie WalorskiJacqueline (Jackie) R. WalorskiStefanik shake-up jump-starts early jockeying for committee posts Loyalty trumps policy in Stefanik's rise, Cheney's fall Trump backs Stefanik to replace Cheney MORE (R-Ind.) is now backing Stefanik.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the Republican Study Committee chairman who suggested last week that Cheney could be pushed out of the GOP post within a month, is also not running for the position.

Cheney is one of 10 House Republicans to have voted to impeach Trump for inciting a mob to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6. The former president has vowed to endorse any Republican primary candidate who runs against her in the upcoming 2022 midterms.

Updated at 8:46 a.m.