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House GOP prepares to replace Liz Cheney with someone who lied more for them

Rep. Liz Cheney voted with Donald Trump 93% of the time, but failed to lie for him about the 2020 election.

By Josh Israel - May 05, 2021
Liz Cheney

House Republicans leaders are working to depose their caucus chair, deeming her insufficiently loyal to Donald Trump. But their favored replacement candidate actually voted with Trump way less of the time — and opposed his signature legislation.

Since 2019, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming has been chair of the House Republican Conference, the number three position in the House leadership. Cheney is the only person in the party’s leadership who is not a straight white man.

According to FiveThirtyEight, she voted with Donald Trump 92.9% of the time. Trump praised her in an April 2019 speech as “so dedicated” and “loyal.”

But in January, Cheney rejected Trump’s attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat and voted to impeach him for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” she said in a statement posted to her official House website on Jan. 12 declaring how she would vote on impeachment.

Cheney accused Trump of lying about the outcome of the election as recently as May 3.

After some House Republican failed to remove her from her leadership position in February, they reportedly plan to try again when they reconvene in Washington, D.C., next week after a break.

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy criticized Cheney on Fox News on Tuesday and was caught on a live mic seemingly endorsing her ouster, telling Fox’s Steve Doocy, “I think she’s got real problems. I’ve had it with … I’ve had it with her. You know, I’ve lost confidence.”

Minority Whip Steve Scalise called on Wednesday for Cheney to be replaced with Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York. Trump reportedly did so as well.

House GOP leaders plan to circumvent a requirement that two-thirds of the caucus vote to remove the chair in the middle of the session, according to CNN, and instead will allow the decision to be made by a simple majority.

Some House Republicans told Axios on Tuesday that they were hoping to make sure Cheney’s replacement was not another white man. Punchbowl reported that McCarthy and Scalise were seeking someone who would not threaten their power.

A blog post on the official website of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi noted a Punchbowl News report that “McCarthy and Scalise will want someone in leadership who is not only relentlessly on message, but also someone who does not pose a threat to them and their power.” The title of the post is “From the GOP Leadership: Help Wanted — Non-Threatening Female.”

But while Stefanik may fit that bill, her voting record has been shown much less loyalty to her party. She voted with Trump just 77.7% of the time, but did vocally oppose both of his impeachments and backed efforts to overturn President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

In 2017, she voted against Trump’s sole major legislative victory, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, objecting to provisions in the bill that reduced state and local tax deductions and hurt New York taxpayers. Cheney voted for the law, which slashed taxes for wealthy Americans and corporations and increased them for 10 million families, calling it “critically important” and a “historic opportunity.”

If Cheney is stripped of her position in favor of Stefanik, House Republicans will be replacing a strongly conservative Republican who backed Trump nearly always with someone who did so 15% less often — just because Cheney told the truth about the 2020 election.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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