In the wake of last month’s riot on Capitol Hill, a handful of House Republicans voted alongside Democrats to impeach then-President Donald Trump.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) led that effort, but her reaction might end up costing her a coveted leadership role in Congress.
Cheney references her “vote of conscience”
According to The Federalist, a group of her GOP colleagues is moving forward with a referendum that, if successful, would strip the veteran lawmaker of her post as the third-highest-ranking Republican in the House.
As staunch Trump critics on the left clamored to impeach Trump during the last days of his term for allegedly inciting the riot, Cheney announced her intentions to vote with them, later defending her move as a “vote of conscience.”
Numerous House Republicans immediately joined a chorus of opprobrium, amplified across social media by Trump supporters who blasted the decision.
In her statement on the matter at the time, Cheney echoed the Democratic Party’s mantra of blaming the president for his rhetoric.
“The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” the Wyoming Republican claimed. “Everything that followed was his doing.”
“I don’t think she represents our conference”
In addition to the backlash within the House, Cheney is also facing harsh criticism from Republicans in her home state.
Various GOP groups across Wyoming have moved to formally reprimand — or censure — Cheney for her vote, and at least one Republican is preparing for a potentially nasty primary fight in next year’s midterm election. As ABC News reported, the next intraparty move against Cheney appears to be the fledgling effort to remove her from leadership.
A growing number of House Republicans are warming to the idea, including Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL). Gaetz even traveled to Wyoming to hold a rally, during which he expressed his displeasure with his colleague.
“My focus is on replacing Liz Cheney because I don’t think she represents our conference,” he said.
Of course, 43 GOP lawmakers would have to sign a special petition to formally oust Cheney from her post — and that would be only if House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) agrees to the motion. If not, the effort would require support from two-thirds of the Republican conference, or 140 members of Congress, to pass.