The House Republican caucus voted Wednesday to kick Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from her GOP conference chairman post.
According to Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the caucus held a voice vote, so no final tally numbers will be known. Kinzinger also said that no replacement had yet been voted on.
Cheney, who served as the No. 3 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, was a constant critic of former President Donald Trump and his reported role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. She was one of a handful of Republican lawmakers to vote for impeachment in January, which sent her down a path of constant criticism from Trump, fellow House members, including GOP leadership, and the Wyoming Republican Party, which voted to censure her for her impeachment vote.
A slew of primary challengers have thrown their hats in the ring to take on Cheney in her re-election bid. A recent poll showed that Wyoming Republicans appear ready to send Cheney packing, with more than half of primary voters saying they will vote for anyone but her.
What’s going on?
Cheney blamed Trump for the Jan. 6 violence, claiming he “summoned” the rioters and then “lit the flame of this attack.” According to Cheney, “Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the president. The president could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not.”
This did not sit well with Trump or many of her fellow Republicans in the U.S. House and in Wyoming, where the state party voted overwhelmingly to censure Cheney in February for “voting to impeach even though the U.S. House didn’t offer Trump ‘formal hearing or due process,'” the Associated Press reported.
Wednesday’s vote was the second time the House GOP held a vote on whether to keep Cheney as conference chairman. In early February, House Republicans voted 145-61 to keep Cheney in her leadership role in a secret ballot.
President Trump has been pushing for Cheney’s ouster for weeks and has amped up pressure on the party and criticism of Cheney over the last several days.
Kinzinger, a Cheney supporter who also voted for impeachment, told reporters following Wednesday’s vote that though Cheney seemed to have a significant number of supporters, GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) insisted that there be a voice vote in the name of “unity” and to avoid a final vote count. Kinzinger has made his displeasure with Trump and the party leadership known over the last several weeks. Just last weekend on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” he denounced the efforts to oust Cheney, likening the caucus to the Titanic.
“Right now, it’s basically the Titanic. We’re like, you know, in the middle of this slow sink. We have a band playing on the deck telling everybody it’s fine. And meanwhile, as I’ve said, you know, Donald Trump’s running around trying to find women’s clothing and get on the first lifeboat,” Kinzinger said.
Cheney spoke to reporters after the vote and said that the GOP needs to have people in leadership who will stand against what she calls President Trump’s “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen.
Leading Republicans have been touting liberal New York Rep. Elise Stefanik as a replacement for Cheney; however, her elevation is not assured. Several conservative GOPers have cautioned the party against putting known liberal in a position of party leadership.
This story has been updated.