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More than half of House GOP members back resolution calling for Cheney to step down from leadership

“Rep. Cheney did not consult with the rest of our conference before supporting impeachment," said Rep. Matt Rosendale.

Updated: January 21, 2021 - 3:50pm

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Rep. Liz Cheney is chairman of the House Republican Conference, the third-highest position in the GOP leadership in the chamber. 

But she may not have the job for long.

The eldest daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney has gotten crosswise with Republicans in the House after condemning President Trump following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. She was also one of 10 Republicans to vote to impeach the president.

"The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack," Cheney said after the riot, which left one protester and one police officer dead. "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."

Now, though, more than half of the 211 Republicans in the House have signed on to a resolution calling for her to be removed from her chairman post.

"House conservatives have received a commitment from 115 members to back their effort to oust House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from her leadership position in the wake of voting in favor of impeaching President Trump for inciting a riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6," The Hill reported on Tuesday, citing a senior GOP aide.

"House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) are leading the effort on circulating a petition to force a special conference meeting where proponents are looking for a debate and a vote be held on a resolution calling on Cheney to resign from her role at the leadership table," wrote the political website. "The vote will be conducted via secret ballot."

Rosendale said last week on Twitter that Cheney did not inform fellow Republicans of her plan to support impeachment.

"Rep. Cheney did not consult with the rest of our conference before supporting impeachment," Rosendale wrote. "She failed to abide by the spirit of the Conference rules & is ignoring the preferences of Republican voters. I'm calling on her to step down as Conference Chair."

But others in the party came to her defense and said ousting her right now is particularly ill-timed.

"I think it'd be a disaster,” Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) told reporters on Tuesday. "I think we need to keep eye on the ball. I think we have a very great chance of taking the majority, and if we continue to give the American people a vision of Republican internal fratricide, that doesn't do us any favors. And I'll be the first one to stand up and say, in front of all of my colleagues, that this is not a path we ought to take. We need to be showing the American people where we come together, what our vision is, what we would do differently than Democrats."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy last week did not act on a call for Cheney's removal from leadership.

Cheney, for her part, said she's "not going anywhere." Her decision to support impeachment was "a vote of conscience," she added. "It's one where there are different views in our conference. But our nation is facing an unprecedented, since the Civil War, a constitutional crisis."

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