Senate

Romney: Removing Cheney from House leadership will cost GOP election votes

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) warned on Monday that forcing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) out of House leadership over her criticism of former President Trump will cost the party votes heading into the 2022 midterm and 2024 elections.

“Expelling Liz Cheney from leadership won’t gain the GOP one additional voter, but it will cost us quite a few,” Romney tweeted on Monday.

His tweet came shortly after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told House Republicans in a letter to expect the vote on removing Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, as soon as Wednesday.

“Having heard from so many of you in recent days, it’s clear that we need to make a change. As such, you should anticipate a vote on recalling the conference chair this Wednesday,” McCarthy wrote in the letter to his conference. 

Frustration with Cheney boiled over during the recent recess over her criticism of Trump for continuing to make a false claim that the 2020 election was “stolen.”

Some of Trump’s most ardent supporters, including some House Republicans, have repeated this even as dozens of legal challenges from Trump’s team were rejected and election experts have dismissed claims of widespread fraud.

McCarthy, while characterizing that the GOP is “a big tent party,” appeared to argue that Cheney’s criticism took the focus off of 2022, where McCarthy is hoping to win back the majority and fulfill his long-held goal of winning the Speaker’s gavel.

“All members are elected to represent their constituents as they see fit, but our leadership team cannot afford to be distracted from the important work we were elected to do and shared goals we hope to achieve,” McCarthy wrote.

House Republicans are likely to replace Cheney with Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who rose through the party ranks opposing the House impeachment efforts.

Romney’s defense of Cheney comes even as most Senate Republicans have stayed out of the House fight. Romney was one of seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial and the only GOP senator to vote for one of the articles in 2020.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) repeatedly sidestepped questions about Cheney over the one-week break, arguing that his focus was on the Biden administration.

Tags Donald Trump Elise Stefanik Kevin McCarthy Liz Cheney Mitch McConnell Mitt Romney

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