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 CheneyTrump says he believes Scarborough 'got away with murder' Hillicon Valley: House FISA bill in jeopardy | Democrats drop controversial surveillance measure | GOP working on legislation to strip Twitter of federal liability protections The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump ramps up attacks against Twitter 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 GrahamHouse Judiciary Committee to hold hearing on police brutality next week McCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony MORE (S.C.) are calling on President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests 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 PompeoFired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Ousted watchdog says he told top State aides about Pompeo probe 7 GOP senators slam State Dept for 'slow and inefficient policy' on passports 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 MnuchinOn The Money: GOP turning against new round of ,200 rebate checks | Millions of Americans frustrated by delayed unemployment checks | Senate votes to give coronavirus relief program more flexibility The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Val Demings calls for a new DOJ Office of Police Standards; Trump, GOP to pull convention from NC Lobbying world 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 PaulRand Paul holding up quick passage of anti-lynching bill Democratic senator to offer amendment halting 'military weaponry' given to police Second senator tests positive for coronavirus antibodies 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 ScaliseClyburn: Cowed GOP ascribes 'mystical powers' to Trump Top GOP lawmakers invite Blue Dogs to meet with China Task Force Top GOP lawmakers invite Blue Dogs to meet with China Task Force over coronavirus probe 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.”