May 10, 2021 - Politics & Policy

GOP to vote on ousting Liz Cheney this Wednesday

Photo of Liz Cheney wearing a mask and looking over at someone

Photo: Tom Williams/Pool via Getty Images

House Republicans will vote on recalling Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as conference chair this Wednesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced in a letter Monday, Punchbowl News reported.

Why it matters: Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, has faced increasing backlash from McCarthy and her Republican colleagues as she continues to criticize former President Trump and his baseless claims of election fraud.

What he's saying: "[T]hese internal conflicts need to be resolved so as to not detract from the efforts of our collective team," McCarthy wrote. "Having heard from so many of you in recent days, it's clear that we need to make a change."

  • "[O]ur leadership team cannot afford to be distracted from the important work we were elected to do and the shared goals we hope to achieve. The stakes are too high to come up short."

The other side: Cheney wrote in a Washington Post op-ed last week that the GOP is at a "turning point" and must decide whether it's going to "choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution."

  • She called out McCarthy's reversal after he commented in January that "the president bears responsibility" for the Capitol insurrection.
    • Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), who chairs the Republican Study Committee, said that Cheney's continued criticisms of Trump are "an unwelcome distraction."
    • McCarthy said in his letter that "each day spent relitigating the past is one day less we have to seize the future."

The big picture: Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, and she has not shied away from condemning his claims of election fraud.

  • Though McCarthy said publicly the House GOP has "no concern" about her vote to impeach Trump, he was caught on a hot mic saying he's "lost confidence" in her and "she's got real problems."
  • Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the only other woman in elected GOP leadership, defended Cheney last Wednesday and called for party unity.
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said Monday ousting Cheney would cost Republicans "quite a few" votes.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Rep. Jim Banks (not Kevin McCarthy) said Cheney's comments were "an unwelcome distraction."

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