With a result that shocked literally no one, House Republicans have voted to oust top lawmaker Liz Cheney from her leadership post as Chair of the House Republican Conference over her continued criticism of former President Donald Trump, and it only took them 20 minutes to decide the U.S. Representative from Wyoming’s fate. Cheney has been persistent in her calling out the former president for his role in the 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol, false stolen-election narrative and his general behavior as commander in chief.
Although it took all of 20 minutes to arrive at their pre-determined decision, this isn’t the first time they have attempted to remove Cheney from the third-highest position in the House Republican leadership as back in February a pro-Trump Freedom Caucus members of the House Republican Conference attempted to remove her from party leadership and failed as Cheney overwhelmingly won 145 votes to 61. With House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s support this time, they were successful in formally removing her from her position.
Despite many of her colleagues applauding her tenure as Chair of the House Republican Conference, that was somewhat undermined when she spoke during the session. She was met with boo’s when she said, “We cannot let the former president drag us backward and make us complicit in his efforts to unravel our democracy.” Immediately following her removal, she told the waiting press “I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office.”
The man himself was clearly watching as when news broke that Republican lawmakers had overwhelmingly voted in favor of removing Ms Cheney from her post, although the ballot was not recorded, he released a statement attacking her as “a bitter, horrible human being” and “a talking point for Democrats,” instead of providing any credible evidence to back up his assertion that the election was indeed stolen from him, evidence he and his cronies have long claimed to have.
Waiting in the wings is four-term congresswoman from upstate New York and recent convert to the Trump cause, Elise Stefanik. Stefanik has long been touted as a replacement for the troublesome Cheney and she was quick to signal her interest in taking over as Chair of the House Republican Conference. Soon after the vote, she penned a letter to colleagues, pledging to “unify our message as a team and win the majority in 2022”.
Cheney may have lost her position as Chair of the House Republican Conference but she is positioning herself as a reliably conservative counterpoint to Trumpism, and she has the congressional voting record to back that up. Ms Cheney called the decision to remove her “the opening salvo” in a fight “to bring back our party to substance and principles,” and a fight is what she is headed for as at least five Republicans have filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run against her in 2022 to also remove her from the Senate. To this, Ms Cheney simply said, “Bring it on.”