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Wyoming's Liz Cheney facing heat for Trump impeachment vote

Liz Cheney
Posted at 8:22 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 22:22:34-05

Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney's vote to impeach President Donald Trump has sparked a political firestorm against the third-ranking House Republican.

In Washington, some Republican House members, including Montana Congressman Matt Rosendale, are circulating a petition calling for Cheney's removal as chair of the House Republican Conference.

Then,the latest development this week: Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz announced plans to fly to Cheyenne Thursday to campaign against Cheney.

"I'm coming to talk about the failed leadership of Liz Cheney within our party and the failed policies that she advocates for," said Gaetz.

Speaking to reporters regarding Thursday's scheduled event at the Wyoming State Capitol, Gaetz emphasized that he is not after Cheney's job and is not seeking a House leadership position.

Back home in the Cowboy State, Cheney's controversial vote two weeks ago is attracting both support and condemnation.

Former Govs. Matt Mead, a Republican, and Mike Sullivan, a Democrat, have come to her defense, supporting her efforts to push back against Trump's attempts to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Also backing Cheney is the powerful Wyoming Petroleum Association. On Monday, the group issued a statement in support of Cheney, saying "her voice carries tremendous weight for all of Wyoming in Congress."

If Cheney decides to run again in two years, she already has an announced opponent in the 2022 GOP primary. Last week, Wyoming state Sen. Anthony Bouchard of Cheyenne announced his plans to do just that.

For her part, Cheney, remains steadfast.

"I'm not going anywhere. This is a vote of conscience," Cheney told Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill. "It's one where there are different views in our conference. But our nation is facing an unprecedented, since the civil war, a constitutional crisis.”

Meanwhile, Rosendale, a freshman congressman, is pushing for Cheney to resign her leadership post.

“Rep. Cheney did not consult with the rest of our conference before supporting impeachment,” Rosendale tweeted. “She failed to abide by the spirit of the Conference rules and is ignoring the preferences of Republican voters. I'm calling on her to step down as Conference Chair,” he added.

Rosendale has joined with Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona to round up support among House Republicans for a resolution to remove Cheney as chairwoman of the GOP Conference. According to CBS News, more than 115 of the 211 House Republicans support Cheney's removal.

Cheney's fate is considered an early indicator of which direction GOP lawmakers plan to go in the wake of Donald Trump's presidency.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy stopped short of supporting the petition against Cheney but acknowledged he has concerns.

"She can have a difference of opinion, but the one thing if we're going to lead within the conference, we should work together on that as a whole conference because we're representative of that conference," McCarthy said.