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Liz Cheney calls for 'proportional military response' against Iran

Liz Cheney calls for 'proportional military response' against Iran
© Greg Nash

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyMcCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 The Memo: CPAC fires starting gun on 2024 Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE (R-Wyo.) said on Wednesday the U.S. should consider a “proportional military response" against Iran, among other potential actions, over its suspected involvement in drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil supply.

The position from Cheney comes as Republicans such as Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Graham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents John Boehner tells Cruz to 'go f--- yourself' in unscripted audiobook asides: report MORE (S.C.) are calling on President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE to pursue additional action after earlier Wednesday saying the U.S. would impose additional sanctions on Iran.

"Not acting sends a message, frankly, that's likely to encourage an additional escalation by the Iranians if they feel they can take this kind of action without a response. So I'm pleased to see that we've begun to see some of that response," Cheney said.

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"I also think that a proportional military response is the right way to go, and I'm hopeful that Secretary Pompeo is coordinating in that regard with the Saudis," she added, referring to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoUS intel: Saudi crown prince approved Khashoggi killing Golden statue of Trump at CPAC ridiculed online Five things to watch at CPAC MORE.

She also advocated the U.S consider pursuing additional United Nations sanctions in response. 

Trump on Wednesday said that he has instructed Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinOn The Money: Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill | Collins rules out GOP support for Biden relief plan | Powell fights inflation fears Mnuchin expected to launch investment fund seeking backing from Persian Gulf region: report Larry Kudlow debuts to big ratings on Fox Business Network MORE to “substantially” increase economic sanctions on Iran. 

Trump administration officials have blamed Iran for drone attacks on two Saudi oil sites over the weekend, though the president himself has not yet definitely pinned the blame on Tehran. 

Graham, another leading GOP lawmaker on foreign affairs, has voiced skepticism over the administration taking a more cautious approach with Iran, with the South Carolina Republican arguing on Wednesday that increased sanctions are not enough to prevent Iran from taking similar action in the future. 

Graham and Trump had disagreed on how to respond on Iran Tuesday, in a rare sign of discord among two allies.

Cheney, who's believed to be considering running for Senate next year, has emerged as one of the leading GOP voices on foreign policy and defense, often advocating a more hawkish U.S. response.

That has put her at odds with other GOP lawmakers like Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Health Care: 50 million coronavirus vaccines given | Pfizer news | Biden health nominees Rand Paul criticized for questioning of transgender health nominee Haley isolated after Trump fallout MORE (R-Ky.), with whom she recently engaged in a Twitter feud. The Wyoming Republican has argued that Americans are not supportive of Paul's "isolationist" views, while he has accused her of "warmongering."

Meanwhile, House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseMerrick Garland is right to prioritize domestic terrorism, but he'll need a bigger boat Why Congress must invoke the 14th Amendment now The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Ahead: One-shot vax, easing restrictions, fiscal help MORE (R-La.) said sanctions have proven to be an effective strategy in the past, adding that the U.S. needs to focus on preventing Iran from “advancing towards a nuclear weapon.”

“I think it's one of the reasons you're seeing Iran act out is because what President Trump has been doing to stand up to Iran has been effective,” he told reporters. 

“But you know, Iran has proven to the world right now why they can't be trusted with a nuclear weapon. ... The president is weighing his options as he should, but he's proven that he's willing to stand up to bullies around the world, and Iran is one of the biggest.”