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May 12, 2021, 9:25 a.m. EDT

House Republicans oust Rep. Liz Cheney from leadership post

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By Victor Reklaitis

House Republicans voted Wednesday in favor of ejecting Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming from her leadership role, in a move that has been in the works for weeks following her criticism of former President Donald Trump.

Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, was removed in a voice vote on Wednesday morning, according to multiple published reports. She has been blasted by her fellow Republicans for her repudiation of Trump due to his false claims about last year’s election and his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy set the Wednesday vote for removing the congresswoman, saying in a letter on Monday that it was clear that he and his GOP colleagues “need to make a change” while not mentioning her or Trump by name.

No. 2 House Republican Steve Scalise escalated the effort to push out Cheney a week ago , as his spokeswoman said the Louisiana congressman supports having GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York take over Cheney’s position as House Republican Conference chair. As chair, Cheney has presided at meetings of all House Republicans and spoken at high-profile events with McCarthy and Scalise.

Read more: Meet Elise Stefanik, favored to replace Liz Cheney as the No. 3 Republican in the House

The Wyoming congresswoman, whose father is former Vice President Dick Cheney, didn’t back down from her position in a House floor speech late Tuesday . She said: “I am a conservative Republican, and the most conservative of conservative principles is reverence for the rule of law. The Electoral College has voted. More than 60 state and federal courts, including multiple judges the former president appointed, have rejected his claims.”

Cheney’s impending ouster has been viewed as a sign of how much control Trump still has over Republicans, as well as an effort by the party to keep the 45th president’s supporters on their side ahead of next year’s midterm elections. Some conservatives have criticized the move, with Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan arguing that “ousting her for saying the obvious puts the party on the side of a lie.”

Trump kept up his criticism of Cheney in a statement on Wednesday morning, saying “almost everyone in the Republican Party, including 90% of Wyoming, looks forward to her ouster.”

U.S. stock-index futures /zigman2/quotes/208225921/composite SP +0.06% pointed to further losses for equities Wednesday , as investors took in a reading on inflation a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.77% suffered its biggest one-day fall since late February.

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