Politics Liz Cheney: House Republicans are preparing to oust No. 3 leader this week. Here's what to watch.
How Democrats Learned to Love the Cheneys
Is Cheney's dissent conviction or calculation?This metamorphosis—lampooned as “strange new respect” by journalist Tom Bethell in 1992 as the liberal journalist’s instinct to overpraise any leftward gesture by a right-wing politician—can be accomplished any number of ways. In Romney’s case, he achieved his strange new respect in 2020, when he cast his ballot to impeach President Donald Trump. John Bolton won his by publishing a show-and-tell about working for the Trump administration, 2020’s The Room Where It Happened.
House Republicans could vote as early as Wednesday to replaceas GOP conference chair, a move that would underscore former President Donald Trump's firm grip on the party months after leaving office.
Cheney's refusal to embrace Trump's election lies, and her rebukes of his role in the US Capitol insurrection, has highlighted a tumultuous rift in a Republican Party grappling with its future without Trump in the White House., who's less ideologically conservative than Cheney, appears poised to seize the Wyoming Republican's post.
Trump, GOP Leaders, and Even Liz Cheney Allies Say She Is a 'Dead Woman Walking'
As House Republicans prepare to purge current conference chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) from leadership, former President Donald Trump’s pals on Capitol Hill have been keeping him posted on the efforts to demote her—and the ex-president has been assured that Cheney will be punished by her colleagues as soon as next week. In recent days, Trump has been on the phone with several key allies in the House GOP conference, asking for updates on the Cheney situation, as well as on whether there will indeed be a vote to remove her from her leadership post, according to two sources with knowledge of the calls.
But even skeptics of Stefanik's conservative credentials say she's preferable to Cheney on the most important factor: her loyalty to the former President. The New York congresswoman became one of Trump's most visible defenders in Congress as part of his 2020 impeachment defense after initially criticizing Trump's rhetoric during the 2016 campaign and telling voters that she would be an "independent voice."
One of just 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump in January, Cheney -- the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney --to keep her leadership position by a wide margin, 145 to 61. But she hasn't backed down from her criticisms of Trump's election lies, and her continued arguments that the party should move on from the former President have become too much for House Republicans who see him as a crucial part of their winning coalition.
GOP Makes a Choice: Donald Trump Over Liz Cheney
GOP Makes a Choice: Donald Trump Over Liz CheneyWhen Liz Cheney voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump back in January, her fellow Republicans were able to set that aside as a vote of conscience. Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House and a mainstay of conservative politics for decades, told her colleagues that she’d never apologize for sticking with her convictions. Even her critics admired the swagger. The attempt to remove her from the post failed by a 61-to-145 margin. If that’s what Cheney believed to be true, so be it.
Cheney, who has no intention of stepping aside, wrote in a fierythis month, "We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process."
"Trump is seeking to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work -- confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law. No other American president has ever done this," Cheney wrote. "The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution."
Here's what to watch as the vote approaches:
Leadership gets vocal about Stefanik
While a lot of the strategizing to install Stefanik has happened behind closed doors, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthythat he's supporting her for the influential GOP leadership position.
Liz Cheney is no defender of democracy: She and her party created a monster
Don't get suckered by the friendly fascist: Liz Cheney and the GOP have been building Trumpism for decades Donald Trump, Liz Cheney and Mitch McConnell Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images
"Yes, I do," McCarthy told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo when asked if he supports the New York Republican for the No. 3 role.
Stefanik thanked McCarthy for his support in a.
CNN previously reported that McCarthy has been supporting Stefanik to replace Cheney, and the No. 2 member of House Republican leadership, Rep. Steve Scalise, publicly endorsed Stefanik's bid for the job last week.
The former President alsoStefanik, saying in a statement last week that she "is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL Endorsement for GOP Conference Chair."
has been especially noteworthy. Last month, he was asked if Cheney was still a good fit for leadership. He declined to endorse her as he did in February. The California Republican instead said Cheney's future would be determined by the conference. A House GOP source who had been in contact with McCarthy said the GOP leader had been "furious" at her for weeks amid her comments about Trump.
Last week, McCarthy claimed Cheney's impeachment vote wouldn't cost her the job. Instead, he said that she has not done enough to keep the party unified behind a singular message to win back the majority next year. "I have heard from members, concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message," McCarthy told Fox News."
Liz Cheney live updates: House Republicans expected to vote on removing her from leadership
The vote is the result of weeks of drama among House Republicans, some who see Rep. Liz Cheney's criticism of Donald Trump as a distraction.Cheney, the third most-powerful House Republican, has angered some in the party for her repeated criticism of Trump and his claim the 2020 election was stolen from him. A vote behind closed doors and by secret ballot is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Limited GOP support for Cheney
While the GOP support to replace Cheney appears overwhelming, a select few Republicans have made their opposition known -- and are likely to continue doing so as the vote draws closer.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger said on CBS News' "" Sunday that Cheney "is saying exactly what Kevin McCarthy said the day of the insurrection," alluding to Trump's responsibility. "She's just consistently been saying it. And a few weeks later, Kevin McCarthy changed to attacking other people."
"And so I think what the reality is, is as a party, we have to have an internal look and a full accounting as to what led to January 6th. I mean, right now, it's basically the Titanic," the Illinois Republican said.
GOP figures off Capitol Hill have pushed back on the vote too.
"In terms of Liz Cheney, she's a conservative, she did a vote of conscience and she should not be ousted because of one vote of conscience," Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told CNN's Erin Burnett on "" of Cheney's vote to impeach Trump after the January 6 insurrection.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox raised concerns about the message Cheney's ouster sends to a party trying to grow. "Well, it shows that we're very divided as a party, and that's no secret. I'm not the first person to say that," he told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" when asked what it means. "But as we talk about broadening the tent and bringing in a new generation of Republicans -- we really have to allow for those types of differences."
Liz Cheney's future in Republican leadership decided by voice vote in closed-door meeting
Under long-standing conference rules, votes were cast in secret by the members who physically show up to the morning meeting in the Capitol. No proxy voting is allowed. Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning. A simple majority of those voting decided Cheney's fate. That's what happened in February when some Republicans sought to strip Cheney of the leadership post following the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump that she supported. The vote was 145-61 (with one abstention) by voice vote to keep Cheney on as conference chair.
Cindy McCain -- widow of longtime Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona -- has also warned that the GOP needs to exercise caution as it mulls ousting Cheney.
Asked byfor her thoughts on Stefanik, McCain said in part: "We do need to be careful."
"It doesn't serve any good if we just oust someone who really is a good representative of the party."
But even moderate Republican Rep. John Katko, who voted to impeach Trump and was an ally of Cheney, told a local newspaper last week he will back his fellow New Yorker for the job, a clear signal that Cheney's leadership tenure is coming to an end.
"I have every confidence that Elise will be a superb leader for all of our conference, not just some," Katko toldFriday. "Elise and I came in together and she knows me as well as she knows conservatives. She knows that I have a different type of district than a lot of conservatives."
Stefanik to address House Freedom Caucus
Stefanik is expected to address lawmakers in the House Freedom Caucus at their gathering on Monday night after some membersabout her voting record.
During a Wednesday night conference call, multiple members of the far-right Freedom Caucus voiced deep reservations about Stefanik as the consensus choice for Republican conference chair -- even as they conceded she has the votes to succeed Cheney.
A House member on the call told CNN the caucus has concerns about Stefanik's moderate voting record and her uneven stance on a wide range of issues the group prioritizes, including immigration and LGBTQ rights.
With Liz Cheney removed as House GOP chair, what's next?
The first order of business will be to replace Cheney, and it looks like Rep. Elise Stefanik will step into that role.Wednesday's decision by House Republicans to remove the Wyoming congresswoman as chair of the House GOP Conference is only the beginning of a new chapter for a party that hopes to recapture Congress in 2022 after making key gains in November's elections.
Stefanik has signaled to some of her colleagues that if she replaces Cheney, she plans to stay in leadership and as chair of the House GOP Conference only through 2022, wanting to pursue the top GOP job on the House Education and Labor Committee next Congress,.
That assurance could help assuage concerns on the right over her more moderate voting record, though she's widely viewed as a virtual lock for the No. 3 job when the vote happens.
McCarthy has the power to call for afrom his leadership team. It can be approved by a simple majority of the full House GOP Conference.
If McCarthy doesn't call for a vote, another Republican could. But there are also special procedures in place to ultimately force another vote, which could take more time.
One path requires 20% of the House GOP conference -- 43 members -- to submit a petition for a special meeting. They would then schedule that meeting within 10 "legislative" days, or days they're in session in the nation's capital.
At the special meeting, the members can then bring up a resolution to remove Cheney. If two-thirds of the conference -- 142 members -- want, they can immediately vote. Otherwise, the petition would be referred to a committee that can then either report the petition to the conference for a full vote or kill the resolution.
Any leadership vote is a secret ballot cast behind closed doors.
Liz Cheney says she regrets voting for Trump in 2020 .
Liz Cheney said she regrets voting for Donald Trump in the 2020 election, speaking in a "This Week" interview with ABC Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl. "It was a vote based on policy, based on substance and in terms of the kinds of policies he put forward that were good for the country. But I think it's fair to say that I regret the vote." © ABC News Cheney, R-Wyo., also blasted House Republicans for elevating Rep.