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 CheneyHouse Republicans 'demand the release of the rules' on impeachment Republicans seek to delay effort to censure Schiff after Cummings' death House Foreign Affairs leaders introduce Turkey sanctions bill 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 GrahamErdoğan got the best of Trump, experts warn Graham: I'm seeking to make Trump successful 'but not at all costs' The Memo: Trump's sea of troubles deepens MORE (S.C.) are calling on President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview 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 PompeoErdoğan got the best of Trump, experts warn Graham: I'm seeking to make Trump successful 'but not at all costs' Ex-Watergate prosecutor says evidence in impeachment inquiry 'clearly' points to Trump 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 MnuchinTop economic adviser warned Trump on reelection chances ahead of China truce: report The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever 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 Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe On The Money: Senate fails to override Trump veto over border emergency | Trump resort to host G-7 next year | Senators to push Turkey sanctions despite ceasefire | McConnell tees up funding votes Top Foreign Relations senators introduce Turkey sanctions bill 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 ScaliseHouse Republicans 'demand the release of the rules' on impeachment Scalise, Cole introduce resolution to change rules on impeachment Republicans seek to delay effort to censure Schiff after Cummings' death 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.”