Amidst what appears to be a massive fracture in the Republican Party, GOP House Representatives have rallied behind Rep. Liz Cheney, whose vote to impeach Donald Trump has angered the former president’s loyalists.
Donald Trump’s departure from the political scene that he’s dominated for so long has led to a split in the GOP, with Cheney (Wyoming) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia leading the way for opposing factions within the party. Cheney, daughter of former Vice President under George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, represents the older, more traditional arm of the Republican Party, while Greene is one of the Trump loyalists that espouses conspiracy theories and is undyingly loyal to the 45th President.
House Republicans voted Wednesday night that Rep. Liz Cheney should keep her post in House GOP leadership after she defended her support for impeachment as a vote of conscience during a contentious closed-door GOP conference meeting.
In a vote for House GOP leadership, Cheney’s colleagues voted for her to retain her position as the third most senior GOP Representative. And Cheney’s vote to impeach Trump did not seem to have ruffled as many feathers as initially thought. The vote was 145 to keep her in her position as House Republican Conference chair, and 61 to remove her, plus one member who voted present, according to several people in the room, as reported by CNN.
“I won’t apologize for the vote,” Cheney said one Wednesday evening. “Absolutely not.”
She had previously said when justifying her vote for impeachment that Trump “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” and “there has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
However, it does seem that Cheney was forced to extend an olive branch to all House Republicans, having set up time to meet with everyone, according to California GOP Representative, Jim Banks, who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee.
“Well she’s making a lot of efforts to talk to, I mean she’s reached out to almost every member of the Republican conference,” Banks said.
Meanwhile, Wyoming Senators, Cynthia Lummis and John Barrasso have supported the House’s decision and emphasised that the party needs to be united.
“The House should do what the House chooses to do,” freshman Senator Lummis told reporters, while Barrasso offered his support to Cheney. New York Republican, Tom Reed also adamantly defended Cheney and her vote to impeach Trump.
“So I told her that I will be a voice to say, ‘Hey, guys, you know we don’t purge our fellow members. That is not something we do. We are, as Republicans, we are a family, we air our differences, we settle it in the conference chamber just like I do with my loving older brothers and sisters, and we come out of it united,'” he said.