Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, is expected to defend her impeachment vote and confront her critics during a tense GOP conference meeting later Wednesday where some Republicans want her to apologize.
Ahead of the meeting this afternoon, some Republicans want Cheney to express remorse for her comments over her impeachment vote.
“If she apologizes, not for her votes but for the words she used and the way she handled it, then she’s fine,” said one top House Republican member who asked not to be identified. “If she’s angry and defiant, then half the conference will be against her. How does she stay on at that point?”
The issue is poised to come to a head when the House GOP conference gathers Wednesday afternoon for a regular meeting — one that is now expected to focus on the votes of the 10 Republicans who supported impeachment, with Cheney the highest ranking among them, and also the fate of the controversial freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.
House Republicans are at a major crossroads as tensions simmer over Cheney and Greene and the conference faces pressure to chart a path forward in the aftermath of the Trump presidency.
Cheney is expected to address her vote and her decision to put out a statement about former President Donald Trump’s actions, but her allies don’t expect her to apologize.
The Wyoming congresswoman has been moving behind the scenes to shore up support in the face of criticism — and her defenders are confident she will have the backing she needs to fend off any challenge to her leadership post as House Republican conference chair.
“The House should do what the House chooses to do,” freshman Sen. Cynthia Lummis told reporters, refusing to offer any support to fellow Wyoming Republican Cheney.
John Barrasso, the other Wyoming GOP senator, backs Cheney.
Rep. Tom Reed of New York said he had spoken with Cheney and noted that he’s willing to defend her during the conference meeting.
“So I told her that I will be a voice to say, ‘Hey, guys, you know we don’t purge our fellow members. That is not something we do. We are, as Republicans, we are a family, we air our differences, we settle it in the conference chamber just like I do with my loving older brothers and sisters, and we come out of it united,'” he said.
It’s still uncertain if there will be a vote this afternoon to oust Cheney from the spot. House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has the power to schedule a vote — something he may do simply to take the issue off the table. Otherwise, Cheney detractors could try to force a vote on their own — and that process will take much longer to play out.
Cheney told CNN on Wednesday ahead of the meeting that she is ready to have an internal discussion about the future of her leadership position with the party.
“We’ll have the discussion internally at the conference,” Cheney said.