House GOP could vote on removing Cheney from party leadership by Wednesday
House Republicans are expected to vote next week on whether to remove Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership post, according to two sources familiar with the plans, as powerful forces in the GOP are aiming to install New York Rep. Elise Stefanik in her place.
The exact timing was not immediately known, but both sources said GOP leaders are set to convene members for the intra-party vote by Wednesday at the latest.
The vote will take place behind closed doors with ballots cast anonymously by the House GOP’s 212 members. The party could use a process whereby only a simple majority is needed to boot Cheney, though the move generally requires a two-thirds majority.
Regardless, Cheney’s ouster as GOP Conference Chair — the third highest-ranking post for House Republicans — appears a near certainty.
Former President Donald Trump, who still wields unparalleled power in the party despite being out of office, has endorsed Stefanik for the No. 3 post, as has Reps. Kevin McCarthy of California and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 1 and No. 2 Republicans in the House respectively.
The likely removal of Cheney comes as the Republican Party continues to sideline members who are deemed insufficiently loyal to Trump.
Cheney, at one point a rising star in the GOP and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has ruffled feathers in the party by taking a vocal stance against Trump’s baseless insistence that the 2020 election was rigged against him.
She was also one of just 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
In a blistering op-ed published by the Washington Post on Thursday, Cheney said the party is at a crossroads.
“While embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country,” Cheney wrote.
“Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people. This is immensely harmful.”
Stefanik, by contrast, is a die-hard Trump loyalist. The upstate New York congresswoman, who represents a district spanning from Albany to the Canadian border, voted with dozens of other House Republicans to invalidate Biden’s election victory in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot, citing Trump’s unfounded voter fraud claims.
Stefanik kept referring to Trump as “the president” in an appearance on former White House adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast this week.
“We are one team and that means working with the president,” she said.
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