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 CheneyThe Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders, Warren feud rattles Democrats The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial The Hill's 12:30 Report: Senate receives impeachment articles as trial opens 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 GrahamSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Senate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial MORE (S.C.) are calling on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' 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 PompeoSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process 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 MnuchinSecurity for Trump's Mar-a-Lago visits cost local taxpayers million On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Senate approves Trump trade deal with Canada, Mexico | Senate Dems launch probe into Trump tax law regulations | Trump announces Fed nominees Senate Democrats launch investigation into Trump tax law regulations 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 PaulGOP threatens to weaponize impeachment witnesses amid standoff Paul predicts no Republicans will vote to convict Trump Graham on impeachment trial: 'End this crap as quickly as possible' 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 ScaliseTrump welcomes LSU to the White House: 'Go Tigers' Republicans criticize Pelosi for gifting pens used to sign impeachment articles The Hill's Morning Report - Impeachment trial a week away; debate night 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.”