House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyo.) leadership position is on shaky ground, with a growing number of her GOP c
House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyo.) leadership position is on shaky ground, with a growing number of her GOP colleagues telling The Post that a second vote to oust her from her role may be inevitable.
Three GOP lawmakers said a vote determining her fate in leadership could come as soon as next week during their first conference meeting back after recess.
While Cheney — the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney — overwhelmingly prevailed in a vote to retain her role earlier this year, some argue there may not be enough votes to save her due to frustrations with her criticisms of former President Trump and increasingly tense relationship with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Critics argue the latest calls for her ouster stem beyond her vote to impeach Trump for inciting a riot on Jan. 6, alleging her decision to continue to rebuke the former president undermines her ability to lead messaging for the conference and conflicts with where the bulk of the party stands.
Multiple lawmakers said that McCarthy coming to her defense during the last vote gave her the edge she needed, noting that he’s publicly indicated that he won’t be going to bat for her this time around.
“He has someone who has aggressively undercut him since he saved her — he certainly saved her from embarrassment of a close vote,” one senior GOP member said. “If a vote happened again today after her behavior the last couple of times, would it be much closer to 50/50? Absolutely.”
Tensions between the pro-Trump faction of the party and Cheney — the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress — appear to be reaching a boiling point, with renewed calls for her ouster emerging during the House GOP retreat in Orlando last week.
Members took aim at the Wyoming Republican after she partook in a series of interview where she asserted she believes the party needs to move on from Trump.
Her critics said her split with McCarthy on the scope of the Jan. 6 commission, her remarks that lawmakers that led the efforts to challenge the election results should be disqualified from being the GOP nominee in 2021 and not ruling out a presidential bid in 2024 herself proved to be points of contention.
“I mean it kind of knows that’s the ultimate slap in the face to two-thirds of the people that she represents in the conference,” one GOP lawmaker said.
“It was one thing for her to do what she’s been doing, she’s predictable at this point which is anti-Trump and digging our hole, but to sort of make it about a story that was kind of about her and her ambition. I think that was like the tipping point.” the source added of her potential presidential ambitions.
Another member added that, “After that February vote bill, many of us were of the mindset of okay it’s over, let’s get behind her and let’s move forward.”
Others in favor of her ouster said the February vote on her leadership post coming the same week as members were slated to take a floor vote to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from committees for past controversial remarks swayed members that were on the fence — with some raising concerns about the optics of saving Greene but not Cheney.
“It wasn’t about loyalty to her or support for, it was about Marjorie Taylor Greene. And it was even said in a room that if Liz is canned, fired from conference chair but Marjorie Taylor Greene stays in the conference that’s a bad story — everybody agreed with that,” one senior member said. “And I think that’s why Kevin saved her.”
But despite the pushback from within the party, Cheney is standing by her calls for the party to disassociate from Trump and stress the gravity of the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6. The Wyoming Republican has dismissed accusations that taking aim at Trump could hinder their ability to take back the majority..
“I think that, for us to be focused on how do we get the House back and the Senate back in ’22, how do we get the White House back in ‘24, one of the most important things we have to do is be honest about what happened in 2020, and really look at and understand why we lost, where we lost, and which voters we lost with,” she told The Post in an interview in Orlando.
“And that’s one of the things that’s damaging about sort of the charge that the election was stolen because that prevents us from actually getting at the truth.”
On Monday morning the Wyoming Republican doubled down on her position on social media despite facing criticisms from her colleagues, slamming Trump for reiterating his unsubstantiated claim he won the election.
“The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system,” she tweeted shortly after Trump’s statement.
“The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!”
While critics argue that her rebuke of Trump could hurt their chances of taking back control of the House, Cheney has dismissed the accusations, arguing that the country deserves to know the truth about what happened during the election.
Sources close to Cheney also shot down accusations that her rhetoric has been a distraction from their agenda, arguing she’s been vocal in touting GOP policies and pushing back on the Biden agenda, arguing it comes down to her support for Trump and recognition of the insurrection.
“If a prerequisite for leading our conference is continuing to lie to our voters, then Liz is not the best fit,” Representative Anthony Gonzalez (R., Ohio) told The Hill.
“Liz isn’t going to lie to people. Liz is going to say what she believes,” Gonzalez added. “She’s going to stand on principle. And if that’s going to be distracting for folks, she’s not the best fit. I wish that weren’t the case.”
Despite the outcome of the February vote and Cheney retaining a sizable number of allies, multiple lawmakers told The Post there are already potential contenders being floated — including Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) — as potential replacements with some already having conversations with members to gage support.