U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, and Steve Womack, R-Rogers, said the controversial move by Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives to oust U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, as the No. 3 GOP leader in the House will help the party with messaging.
The GOP Caucus voted Wednesday (May 12) in a voice vote to oust Cheney as the House Conference Chair. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has called for Cheney’s removal and supports Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-New York, to replace her.
Cheney has repeatedly said Trump is responsible for the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and is a threat to American democracy. In a floor speech Tuesday before the leadership vote, Cheney doubled down on her opposition to Trump, saying the “election was not stolen” and that the GOP “must speak the truth.”
“Every one of us who has sworn the oath must act to prevent the unraveling of our democracy. This is not about policy. This is not about partisanship. This is about our duty as Americans. Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former President’s crusade to undermine our democracy,” said Cheney, who is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Crawford said he supported what he called a “course correction.”
“Our nation faces serious challenges, including rising inflation, a crisis on our southern border, economic struggles in our heartland, and renewed conflict in the Mideast. Today, the House Republican Conference decided a course correction was needed to help us communicate more effectively how to address these challenges, and to block the extreme socialist agenda the Democrats are trying to force upon the American people. I have great respect for Rep. Cheney and look forward to continuing to work with her to advance our shared interest in a secure and prosperous America,” Crawford said in a statement sent to Talk Business & Politics.
Womack said he regretted the conflict within the party but the change was not unexpected.
“The vote to remove Liz Cheney from leadership was not unexpected. She is a close friend and colleague, and she has very strong opinions about the 2020 election and the January 6th insurrection. Unfortunately, her views as Conference Chairwoman clashed with other rank-and-file members. I regret the intraparty conflict. I believe our conference needs to refocus our attention on stopping the dangerous policies being advanced by the left that are hurting our economy, compromising national security, and making life difficult on American families and business,” Womack said in a statement.
U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, issued the following statement which was not clear on his view of Cheney: “The House Republican Conference made the decision today to focus on the issues facing the American people and combat the harmful policies of the Biden Administration. It is time to move forward as a united Republican party, dedicated to fighting for the rights and freedoms of the American people.”