Liz Cheney Facing Possible Ouster

( Wyoming Republican Representative Liz Cheney has faced plenty of criticism from the GOP in recent months, but the heat is apparently turning up on her.

According to some reports, conservative leaders are suggesting that Cheney — the number three Republican in the House — could be on her way out in a month’s time.

On Friday, Indiana Representative Jim Banks told Axios that the continued criticism Cheney is saying about former President Donald Trump and the direction of the GOP are “an unwelcome distraction.” The leader of the largest conservative caucus in the House, questioned whether Cheney would be able to hang onto her leadership role in the House GOP in a month’s time.

Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise, the House minority whip, echoed those comments when speaking to Axios. He said:

“This idea that you just disregard President Trump is not where we are, and, frankly, he has a lot to offer still.”

The comments from these two GOP leaders carry some legitimate weight, if only because they have a close personal relationship with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Scalise and Banks could ultimately work with McCarthy to remove Cheney from her leadership position within the House.

Even McCarthy himself told reporters last week:

“If you’re sitting here at a retreat that’s focused on policy, focused on the future of making American next-century, and you’re talking about something else, you’re not being productive.”

McCarthy was referring to comments Cheney made at a Republican retreat held recently in Orlando, Florida. She told reporters there that anyone who challenged the results of the 2020 presidential election should automatically be disqualified from running for president in the 2024 election.

That would disqualify Trump, of course, but also some leading potential candidates such as Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Cheney also said that she couldn’t rule out a run for president some time in the future for herself.

Cheney first drew the ire of Republicans when she voted in favor of impeaching Trump earlier this year. She has been extremely critical of Trump in that time, and of other Republicans who have supported him.

She also said that a commission that’s being formed to examine the attacks on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 should have a narrow focus. That would fly in the face of what McCarthy and many other Republicans want, which is a wider-ranging investigation.

Finally, Cheney said a memo that Banks wrote about how the GOP could retain voters in the working class was “neo-Marxist.”

Banks, in response, said Cheney’s comments were distracting from a unified focus the GOP is trying to show ahead of the important 2022 midterm elections. He said:

“That’s what we got out of Liz Cheney, which doesn’t help us remain focused on that single goal. Her lack of focus on that, while being focused on other things, and proving her point, was an unwelcome distraction. The sort of sideline distractions at the GOP retreat will only serve to hold us back from being focused on that nearly unanimous goal we have as a conference.”

Banks was asked whether Cheney would hold onto her role as the GOP conference chair. He responded:

“I don’t know. That’s up to her. I think a lot of us would like to see her join the team, be on the same team, same mission, the same focus. And at this point, that’s what many of us are questioning.”