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 CheneyGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power Graham vows GOP will accept election results after Trump comments Liz Cheney promises peaceful transfer of power: 'Fundamental to the survival of our Republic' 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 GrahamGraham neck and neck with challenger in South Carolina Senate race: poll Harris slams Trump's Supreme Court pick as an attempt to 'destroy the Affordable Care Act' Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election MORE (S.C.) are calling on President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments Ocasio-Cortez: Trump contributed less in taxes 'than waitresses and undocumented immigrants' Third judge orders Postal Service to halt delivery cuts 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 PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS says it will leave Baghdad embassy if Iraq doesn't rein in attacks: report Watchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump Trump's push for win with Sudan amps up pressure on Congress  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 Terner MnuchinHouseholds, businesses fall into financial holes as COVID aid dries up Centrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election 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 PaulRon Paul hospitalized in Texas The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Rand Paul says he can't judge 'guilt or innocence' in Breonna Taylor case 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 ScaliseGinsburg becomes the first woman to lie in state in the Capitol House GOP slated to unveil agenda ahead of election House panel details 'serious' concerns around Florida, Georgia, Texas, Wisconsin elections 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.”