Cheney retains House GOP leadership role

Cheney withstands push to remove her as conference chair, the No. 3 GOP leadership post

Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., fended off an effort to oust her from her leadership role. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., fended off an effort to oust her from her leadership role. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted February 3, 2021 at 10:05pm

House Republicans voted 145-61 Wednesday night to keep Conference Chair Liz Cheney in her role as the No. 3 GOP leader in the chamber, fighting back an effort from those who were unhappy with her impeachment vote and criticism of former President Donald Trump.

"We really did have a terrific vote tonight, terrific time this evening laying out where we're going to do going forward as well as making clear we're not going to be divided and we're not going to be in a situation where people can pick off any member of leadership," Cheney told reporters after the vote. "It was very resounding acknowledgment that we need to go forward together and in a way that helps us beat back the really dangerous and negative Democrat policies."

Minority Whip Steve Scalise said the group aired their grievances, but ultimately the conference "came out much stronger," he said.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, said he voted for Cheney. “I supported Liz,” Crenshaw told the pool.

Cheney faced a great deal of political blowback among her Republican colleagues most loyal to Trump when she announced she would vote to impeach him. The next day, on Jan. 13, she was joined by nine other Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Capitol insurrection that left five people dead. The vote was 232-197 on the single article of impeachment that charged him with "incitement of insurrection.”

“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” Cheney said in a statement the night before the impeachment vote. “Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

In November, after Republicans gained substantial ground and flipped several Democratic seats in the 2020 elections, House Republicans rewarded McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Cheney with another term steering the conference.

Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.