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Politics Liz Cheney live updates: House Republicans expected to vote on removing her from leadership

15:05  12 may  2021
15:05  12 may  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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Rep. Liz Cheney, who on Wednesday faces a vote to remove her from House Republican leadership, tore into former President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening in a fiery speech on the House floor.

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.

"This is not about policy. This is not about partisanship. This is about our duty as Americans," she said. "Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence, while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president's crusade to undermine our democracy."

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  Who is Liz Cheney? House Republicans' No. 3, daughter of a VP, Trump critic Liz Cheney is the elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who held the same GOP leadership position from which she may be ousted.Cheney was one of 10 Republicans in the House to vote for Trump's impeachment over his alleged incitement of the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, and has since remained firm in her belief that Trump's rhetoric led to the violence.

a woman wearing a costume: Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., attends a press conference following a House Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on April 14, 2021 in Washington. © Drew Angerer, Getty Images Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., attends a press conference following a House Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on April 14, 2021 in Washington.

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House GOP expected to vote on Liz Cheney Wednesday

House Republicans meet behind closed doors on Capitol Hill Wednesday to make a major decision likely to highlight a deepening rift in a party hoping to retake control of Congress in 2022.

Will they keep Rep. Liz Cheney as the chamber's third-ranking Republican, or toss her out to make way for a leader more supportive of former President Donald Trump?

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Lawmakers will vote by secret ballot whether to oust Cheney as chair of the House Republican Conference, the result of weeks of drama within the House GOP.

The three-term congresswoman from Wyoming and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney has drawn anger from her GOP colleagues in recent weeks as her vocal pushback against Trump's false claims of a stolen 2020 election aggravated party leaders loyal to the former president.

'I will not sit back': In fiery speech, Rep. Liz Cheney calls Trump a 'threat'

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They've said Cheney has become a distraction from the mission to take back the House in next year's mid-term races.

"Having heard from so many of you in recent days, it's clear that we need to make a change," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., wrote in a letter Monday to fellow Republican lawmakers.

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  Liz Cheney: House Republicans are preparing to oust No. 3 leader this week. Here's what to watch. House Republicans could vote as early as Wednesday to replace Rep. Liz Cheney as GOP conference chair, a move that would underscore former President Donald Trump's firm grip on the party months after leaving office. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 14: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) attends a press conference following a House Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on April 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House Republican members spoke about their recent trip to the southern border and the surge of migrant children entering the United States.

High-ranking Republicans including Trump, are backing New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, a fierce defender of the former president, to replace Cheney.If Cheney is removed Wednesday, a vote on her replacement is expected to take place at a later time.

Should the House GOP purge Cheney from leadership, it would be the latest evidence of a deep split in the Republican Party, in which some see Trump as its best path to electoral victory while some, like Cheney, say it should move beyond the former president.

Democrats hold slim majorities in the House and Senate and Republicans are eager to pick up seats in 2022 to regain majorities in both chambers.

In a fiery Tuesday evening speech on the House floor, Cheney ripped into Trump and his fraud claims, calling him a "threat."

"This is not about policy. This is not about partisanship. This is about our duty as Americans," she said. "Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence, while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president's crusade to undermine our democracy."

Cheney, stripped of leadership position, vows to keep Trump from returning to presidency

  Cheney, stripped of leadership position, vows to keep Trump from returning to presidency House Republicans stripped Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., of a leadership position Wednesday, rejecting her insistence that the GOP tell the truth about the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Cheney said the vote signaled an existential fight for the soul of the GOP and the preservation of democracy. The House GOP’s 212 members met behind closed doors and voted by secret ballot, despite calls by Cheney backers such as Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., that they make the vote public. © Provided by Yahoo! News US Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, speaks to the media at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on May 12, 2021.

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More: GOP takes sides on Cheney's ouster, with one congressman calling party 'basically the Titanic'

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, believes ousting Cheney will hurt Republican efforts to win back Congress.

"I think we're better trying to expand the number of people who want to vote for Republicans as opposed to shrink that number," he told reporters on Capitol Hill Monday. "I think she's a person of integrity who follows her conscious and speaks the truth. And I think it will do nothing but drive some people away from our party."

House Republicans will meet at 9 a.m. ET Wednesday behind closed doors to hold a secret-ballot vote on Cheney. She can be removed by a simple majority of the  212-member Republican caucus.

More: Sen. Joe Manchin says Trump ‘called me all the time.’ Senator said he was ready ‘to stay and fight’ during Capitol riots

In the letter to Republican House members Monday, McCarthy wrote the party's "driving focus would be taking back the House in 2022" and "internal conflicts need to be resolved so as to not detract from the efforts of our collective team."

Trump issued a statement last week through his Save America PAC in which he slammed Cheney as a "warmongering fool who has no business in Republican Party Leadership" and threw his support behind Stefanik.

Cheney's warning on Trump, a voice vote, Stefanik's bid: 4 takeaways from GOP conference meeting

  Cheney's warning on Trump, a voice vote, Stefanik's bid: 4 takeaways from GOP conference meeting Upon being stripped of her leadership post, Rep. Liz Cheney vows to keep Trump from regaining Oval Office. And Rep. Elise Stefanik launches her bid.Behind closed doors, fellow Republican members of the House stripped Cheney of her leadership position after her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump over his alleged incitement of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and her continued outspoken criticism of the former president.

"We want leaders who believe in the Make America Great Again movement, and prioritize the values of America First," the former president said.

Cheney angered many of her GOP colleagues in January when she not only led a group of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on a charge he incited the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol but also publicly called the former president out for his unfounded election fraud claims.

Adam Kinzinger: Kinzinger claims McCarthy ignored warning that Jan. 6 events could turn violent

In February, Cheney retained her post in the party during a tumultuous, hours-long, closed-door meeting. Her fellow Republicans voted 145-61 (with one abstention) by secret ballot to keep her as chair.

Kevin McCarthy et al. standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Rep. Liz Cheney and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy disagreed when asked if Trump should speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference. © Provided by USA TODAY Rep. Liz Cheney and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy disagreed when asked if Trump should speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

After the meeting, Cheney told reporters the vote made clear "that we're not divided and that we're not going to be in a situation where people can pick off any member of leadership. It was a very resounding acknowledgment that we need to go forward together, and we need to go forward in a way that helps us push back the really dangerous and negative Democratic policies."

Republicans, including Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, who chairs the Republican Study Committee within the GOP caucus, insist her removal has less to do with her ongoing skirmish with Trump and more about the distraction she had become.

"Any leader who is not focused on pushing back against the radical and dangerous Biden agenda needs to be replaced," he told "Fox News Sunday."

With Liz Cheney removed as House GOP chair, what's next?

  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.

Opinion: Trump Republicans have had it with Liz Cheney and the democracy she chooses to defend

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Liz Cheney live updates: House Republicans expected to vote on removing her from leadership

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.

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