After plenty of speculation, on Wednesday, Liz Cheney was ousted from her House leadership position over criticism of Trump.
Reporters wrote that the former president Donald J. Trump gained more grip on the GOP with a vote by House Republicans to depose Rep. Cheney from her leadership post for her persistent rebuttals to his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Cheney, 54, is a Wyoming conservative and the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney.
House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, whose district embraces large portions of the Antelope Valley and Kern County, is publicly supporting Cheney’s ouster and her replacement with New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Trump loyalist. Trump, is also backing Stefanik.
The outcome of the closed-door vote of the 212-member Republican conference is largely settled.
Cheney has not campaigned to keep her job as conference chair, but her spokesman said in a text message Tuesday night that she would not step down before the House Republican meeting.
She warned anew on a House floor speech Tuesday that the GOP’s embrace of Trump and his repeated unfounded election claims is damaging the party and the country.
The House Republican vote underscores internal fissures created by Trump and his determination to exercise control over the GOP as it charts a path to recapture control of Congress in the 2022 midterms and the White House in 2024.
Cheney was one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over his role in encouraging the violent mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. She survived one attempt to remove her after that vote, but she has continued to criticize Trump and assail his repeated false election claims.
On Tuesday evening she said, “The Electoral College has voted, more than 60 state and federal courts, including multiple judges the former preside. Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the constitution.”
McCarthy and others insist the party remains a “big tent” and that lawmakers are able to speak freely and debate issues. But they also argue that the party’s leadership team should reflect rank-and-file sentiment and not be a distraction from party goals.
A vote on Cheney’s successor could come as early as today, after Republicans hold a candidate forum, or it may be held over until the following week.