Top Republicans Suggest Liz Cheney Could Be Removed from Leadership Role

POLITICS & POLICY
Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wy.) attends a tribute ceremony for Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick who was killed during the riots in Washington, D.C., February 3, 2021. (Erin Schaff/Reuters)

GOP leaders have suggested that Representative Liz Cheney (R., Wy.) could be ousted from her House leadership role within a month following her recent criticisms of the Republican party.

Cheney, the third-ranking GOP lawmaker in the House and a vocal critic of former President Trump, told the New York Post last week that while she believes Republicans could take back the presidency in 2024, she thinks lawmakers who supported his effort to overturn the 2020 election results should be disqualified from running.

“I do think that some of our candidates who led the charge, particularly the senators who led the unconstitutional charge, not to certify the election, you know, in my view that’s disqualifying,” said Cheney, the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney.

She also called a memo written by Representative Jim Banks (R., Ind.) about how the GOP could retain working-class voters “neo-Marxist.”

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Banks, the leader of the largest conservative caucus in the House, told Axios that Cheney’s comments are “an unwelcome distraction” from the effort to beat the Democrats in the 2022 midterms.

“That’s what we got out of Liz Cheney, which doesn’t help us remain focused on that single goal,” he told the outlet. “Her lack of focus on that, while being focused on other things, and proving her point, was an unwelcome distraction.”

“The sort of sideline distractions at the GOP retreat will only serve to hold us back from being focused on that nearly unanimous goal we have as a conference,” Banks added.

When asked if he believes Cheney will hold onto her leadership role in a month, Banks said, “I don’t know.”

“That’s up to her,” he said. “I think a lot of us would like to see her join the team, be on the same team, same mission, the same focus. And at this point, that’s what many of us are questioning.”

Meanwhile, Representative Steve Scalise (R., La.), the No. 2 Republican in the House, told Axios of Cheney, “This idea that you just disregard President Trump is not where we are, and, frankly, he has a lot to offer still.”

The Republicans’ comments came after House minority leader Kevin McCarthy similarly criticized Cheney earlier this week.

“If you’re sitting here at a retreat that’s focused on policy, focused on the future of making American next-century, and you’re talking about something else, you’re not being productive,” McCarthy said.

However, it remains to be seen if this latest round of criticism will stick to Cheney, who has drawn the ire of her Republican colleagues repeatedly since she voted in favor of Trump’s second impeachment.

Despite GOP infighting, Cheney received overwhelming support in a secret ballot the House GOP conference conducted in February. The conference voted 145–61 to keep Cheney in her leadership role.

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