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Previous story House Republicans are preparing to oust Liz Cheney from leadership this week. Here's what to watch. Next story


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Kevin McCarthy confirmed that he's supporting Stefanik for the influential GOP leadership position. A House GOP source said the Republican leader had been
Published on May 11, 2021 8:18 AM

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Liz Cheney 116th Congress official portrait.
Washington (CNN) House Republicans could vote as early as Wednesday to replace Rep. Liz Cheney as GOP conference chair, a move that would underscore former President Donald Trump's firm grip on the party months after leaving office.

Cheney's refusal to embrace Trump's election lies, and her rebukes of his role in the US Capitol insurrection, has highlighted a tumultuous rift in a Republican Party grappling with its future without Trump in the White House. New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who's less ideologically conservative than Cheney, appears poised to seize the Wyoming Republican's post.

But even skeptics of Stefanik's conservative credentials say she's preferable to Cheney on the most important factor: her loyalty to the former President. The New York congresswoman became one of Trump's most visible defenders in Congress as part of his 2020 impeachment defense after initially criticizing Trump's rhetoric during the 2016 campaign and telling voters that she would be an "independent voice."

One of just 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump in January, Cheney -- the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney -- survived a February vote to keep her leadership position by a wide margin, 145 to 61. But she hasn't backed down from her criticisms of Trump's election lies, and her continued arguments that the party should move on from the former President have become too much for House Republicans who see him as a crucial part of their winning coalition...

Efforts to unseat Cheney from conference chair In response to rising calls from pro-Trump factions in the Republican Party for her to be removed from her position as House Republican Conference chair, Cheney wrote an opinion article, 'The GOP is at a turning point. History is watching us', published in The Washington Post on May 5, 2021. In it, she reiterated her positions on adhering to the principles of the U.S. Constitution, upholding the law, and defending 'the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process'. Senator Joni Ernst criticized the GOP's efforts to remove Cheney from party leadership, comparing it to cancel culture. Elizabeth Lynne Cheney was born July 28, 1966. She is an American attorney and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Wyoming's at-large congressional district since 2017. Cheney is the House Republican Conference chair, the third-highest position in the House Republican leadership. She is the third woman elected to that position after Deborah Pryce and Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Cheney is the elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney. She held several positions in the U.S. State Department during the George W. Bush administration, notably as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and Coordinator for Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiatives. She promoted regime change in Iran while chairing the Iran Syria Policy and Operations Group with Elliott Abrams. In 2009 Cheney and Bill Kristol founded Keep America Safe, a nonprofit organization concerned with national security issues that advocated the positions of the former Bush administration. She was a candidate for the 2014 election to the United States Senate in Wyoming, challenging three-term incumbent Mike Enzi, before withdrawing from the race. In the House of Representatives, she holds the seat her father held from 1979 to 1989.

Regarded as a leading ideological conservative in the Bush–Cheney-era tradition and a representative of the Republican establishment, Cheney is a neoconservative, known for her focus on national security, her support for the U.S. military, a pro-business stance, foreign policy views, and for being fiscally and socially conservative. Cheney is considered one of the leaders of the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party and was critical of the foreign policy of the Donald Trump administration. She supported the second impeachment of Donald Trump for his role in inciting a pro-Trump mob to storm the U.S. Capitol. A February 2021 attempt by pro-Trump Freedom Caucus members of the House Republican Conference to remove her from her leadership position failed by a vote of 145–61. Since then, multiple news outlets have reported that a second attempt is underway to remove her at the Conference's meeting in May 2021, reportedly backed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Elizabeth Lynne Cheney was born on July 28, 1966, in Madison, Wisconsin, the elder of two daughters of former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Second Lady Lynne Cheney . At the time of her birth, her parents were studying at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her younger sister, Mary Cheney, was also born in Madison. Cheney attended part of sixth and seventh grade in Casper, Wyoming, while her father campaigned for Congress. The family divided its time between Casper and Washington, D.C. in the 1970s through the 1980s, following her father's election to Congress. In 1984 Cheney graduated from McLean High School, where she was a cheerleader. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado College, her mother's alma mater, where she wrote her senior thesis, 'The Evolution of Presidential War Powers'. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School in 1996. She also took courses in Middle Eastern history at the Oriental Institute.

Before attending law school, Cheney worked for the State Department for five years and the United States Agency for International Development between 1989 and 1993. After 1993, she took a job at Armitage Associates LLP, the consulting firm founded by Richard Armitage, then a former Defense Department official and Iran-Contra operative who later served as Deputy Secretary of State.

After graduating from law school, Cheney practiced law at the law firm of White & Case and as an international law attorney and consultant at the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group. She has also served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State for Assistance to the former Soviet Union, and as a USAID officer in U.S. embassies in Budapest and Warsaw.