Liz Cheney live updates: House Republicans arrive for expected vote on removing Cheney from leadership

Several House GOP lawmakers walking into the Capitol seemed confident Rep. Liz Cheney would be ousted as House Republican Conference chair in a closed-door vote expected Wednesday morning.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told USA TODAY he expects there to be “strong support” to remove her, but couldn’t give an estimated number of how many lawmakers may vote to oust her.

– Savannah Behrmann

GOP lawmakers arrive for meeting to decide Cheney’s leadership future

Republican lawmakers have begun to arrive this morning for their closed-door meeting at the Capitol to decide whether Rep. Liz Cheney should remain in House GOP leadership. The meeting is scheduled to start at 9 a.m.

The Wyoming Republican, who has forcefully pushed back against former President Donald Trump’s widely discredited claims of rampant voter fraud in the 2020 election, faces the loss of her seat as the chair of the GOP House Conference.

On the House floor Tuesday night, Cheney urged her GOP colleagues not to bend to the former president. House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has recommended GOP lawmakers remove Cheney, saying she’s distracting from the party’s effort to win back Congress in next year’s elections.

– Ledyard King and Savannah Behrmann

Trump urges House Republicans to ‘rid themselves’ of Cheney

As Republicans prepare to gather Wednesday morning to determine whether to keep Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney in leadership, former President Donald Trump is urging them to demote her.

“The Republicans in the House of Representatives have a great opportunity today to rid themselves of a poor leader, a major Democrat talking point, a warmonger, and a person with absolutely no personality or heart,” Trump said in a statement issued through his Save America Pac. “As a representative of the Great State of Wyoming, Liz Cheney is bad for our Country and bad for herself. Almost everyone in the Republican Party, including 90% of Wyoming, looks forward to her ouster—and that includes me!”

Trump’s statement comes only hours after Cheney was on the House floor, urging her colleagues not to buy into the former president’s “big lie” that the election was stolen from him due to baseless claims of wide voter fraud.

“Today we face a threat America has never seen before. A former president, who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol in an effort to steal the election, has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him,” Cheney said on the House floor Tuesday night. “He risks inciting further violence. Millions of Americans have been misled by the former president, they have heard only his words, but not the truth as he continues to undermine our democratic process, sowing seeds of doubt about whether democracy really works at all.”

– Ledyard King

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives Wednesday as House Republicans meet at the Capitol to decide whether to remove Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., from her leadership post after she repeatedly rebuked former President Donald Trump for his false claims of election fraud.

What’s with the secret ballot?

House Republicans have debated about Rep. Liz Cheney’s future in public. The actual vote will be conducted in private.

When the meeting starts around 9 a.m. Wednesday, the doors will close to the press. Members will have a chance to say something and then they will cast a secret ballot to decide whether she should remain chair of the GOP Conference.

That means no one will really know how each of the 212 Republicans vote on whether to keep Cheney even if they make public pronouncements about her. The vote will be decided by a simple majority of the caucus.

When the votes are cast and the tabulation is complete, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is expected to come out of the meeting and announce the results to the press.

– Ledyard King

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

Cheney’s speech:‘I know the topic is cancel culture.’ What Rep. Liz Cheney said in her House floor speech about Trump

Who is Liz Cheney, the third most-powerful House Republican?

Rep. Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney — who served alongside former President George W. Bush — has been widely respected in conservative politics and was considered one of the next in line to lead House Republicans.

But she 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.

She has headed the House Republican Conference since 2019 and is the third-ranking Republican in the House. Cheney, Wyoming’s only representative, faces a vote to remove her from her leadership position Wednesday morning.

– Savannah Behrmann

Liz Cheney: ‘I will not sit back’

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.”

– Phillip M. Bailey and Ledyard King

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?

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’

What is a House GOP chair?:Liz Cheney is set to be removed from her post as House GOP Conference chair. What does the chair do?

Secret ballot:Liz Cheney’s future in Republican leadership to be decided by secret ballot in closed-door meeting

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.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., attends a press conference following a House Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on April 14, 2021 in Washington.

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.”

Kevin McCarthy:Vote to oust Liz Cheney puts spotlight on House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, a Trump loyalist

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.

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.

“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.

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.”

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

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