DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who has served as the House GOP Conference Chair since 2019 in on the verge of being ousted from that position. U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, announced on Thursday that she supports Cheney’s removal and supports electing U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., to that role.
Hinson is the first of Iowa’s Republican members of the U.S. House to announce her support for a change in leadership.
“Our party leadership has to be focused solely on taking back the House in 2022 — that is the only way we will stop this destructive liberal agenda being pushed by Speaker Pelosi and President Biden. If Republicans are divided, and not focusing all of our efforts against radical Democrat policies, Speaker Pelosi will remain in power. I don’t want that, and neither do Iowans. I respect Congresswoman Liz Cheney’s strong conservative record and service to our country,” she said in a released statement.
“However, I believe Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is the right person to unify and lead our Conference at this time. Our Republican Conference should be focused entirely on taking back the House majority and firing Speaker Pelosi, and I’m confident Elise will lead that charge,” Hinson added.
The House Republican Conference is the party caucus of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is responsible for hosting caucus meetings and is the primary mechanism for communicating the party’s message to members. The chair runs the day-to-day operations of the caucus and is the third-most powerful Republican in the caucus falling under the House Minority Leader, who is U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, and the Minority Whip, who is U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
Cheney, after voting to impeach former President Donald Trump, survived a vote to remove her from leadership on February 4. Hinson and U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks voted to retain Cheney, and U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra’s vote is unknown since it was by secret ballot and he did not announce it. Since surviving that vote Cheney has been an outspoken critic of Republicans who advocated and defended Trump’s claims of voter fraud leading to his loss in 2020.
“The 2020 presidential election was not stolen,” she tweeted on May 3. “Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.”
The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) May 3, 2021
McCarthy was caught on a hot mic off-air while appear on Fox & Friends with Peter Doocy on Fox News saying he “lost confidence” in Cheney.
“I’ve had it with … I’ve had it with her. You know, I’ve lost confidence. … Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place,” he said in an audio recording released by Axios.
Politico reports that U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina will introduce the formal resolution to remove Cheney.
Stefanik, 36, came to Iowa to campaign for David Young in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District race in 2020. She was one of the primary defenders of President Donald Trump during the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment inquiry and hearings during his first impeachment. She was a Trump campaign surrogate for Donald Trump in Rockwell City for the Iowa Caucus.
Stefanik is currently serving her fourth term in Congress after being elected in 2014.
The conservative organization Club for Growth came out against Stefanik replacing Cheney warning the conference not to replace Cheney with someone who has a liberal voting record.
“Elise Stefanik is NOT a good spokesperson for the House Republican Conference,” they tweeted. “She is a liberal with a 35% CFGF lifetime rating, 4th worst in the House GOP. House Republicans should find a conservative to lead messaging and win back the House Majority.”
Elise Stefanik is NOT a good spokesperson for the House Republican Conference. She is a liberal with a 35% CFGF lifetime rating, 4th worst in the House GOP. House Republicans should find a conservative to lead messaging and win back the House Majority.
— Club for Growth (@club4growth) May 5, 2021