After she led a small group of House Republicans who voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump earlier this month, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) faced a widespread backlash from members of her own party opposed to the effort.
Despite the growing opposition to Cheney’s continued role as the body’s third-highest-ranking Republican, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) signaled his support for her to remain in the leadership position.
“Differences of opinion”
According to the Daily Wire, McCarthy defended Cheney against increasing calls for her to voluntarily resign as chair of the GOP Conference or face removal via secret ballot vote by its members.
Once viewed as a rising star within the Republican Party, her remarks blaming Trump for inciting violence ahead of the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill led a number of GOP lawmakers to speak out against her.
Nevertheless, McCarthy seems intent on carrying forward with the same basic group of party leaders, citing a better-than-expected performance in November’s congressional elections as a reason not to change things too much.
“This is the same leadership team, with the same ranking members and others, that came five seats away from winning a majority when everybody in America thought we were going to lose 20 seats,” he said.
McCarthy continued by insisting that the GOP conference allows “differences of opinion” while acknowledging that there are still “questions that need to be answered” regarding the style in which House Republican leaders delivered their messages.
“I’m not going anywhere”
“At the end of the day, we will unify because our policies are right, which will unify,” he added. “Do we have growing pains? Yes, we will. But we will do it in our private manner of a conference that we hold every time, and we’ll have it next week.”
While he is not alone among House Republicans in offering some defense of Cheney, a growing number are beginning to support her ouster.
A petition being circulated as of Tuesday had reportedly garnered the support of at least 115 members — more than half of the Republican caucus — for removing Cheney from the leadership post. Specifically, the petition calls for a special conference meeting and debate on the issue as well as a possible secret ballot vote.
In her home state, opposition toward Cheney is also mounting among voters, according to Politico.
For her part, however, she has remained defiant in the face of intraparty criticism, telling reporters: “I’m not going anywhere.”