The Washington Examiner
Freedom Caucus members confront Liz Cheney at contentious House GOP meeting
by Kerry Picket
July 21, 2020 02:57 PM
Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking House Republican, came under fire from fellow party members for backing a primary opponent of a sitting lawmaker and voicing support for Dr. Anthony Fauci, whom President Trump has increasingly criticized over advice on containing the coronavirus pandemic.
A source told the Washington Examiner that on Tuesday morning, Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie stood up during the House Republican Conference’s weekly meeting and questioned why Cheney backed his recent primary opponent. Massie previously criticized Cheney, the House Republican Conference chairwoman, after he forced a roll-call vote on a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package, compelling House members to schlep back to Washington to block his move just as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread widely.
“You don’t cull the herd when you don’t have enough herd. And yet she’s trying to use politics to influence the policy of the members in her conference. And I think it’s wrong,” Massie told the Washington Examiner last month. “Especially when we’re in the minority. The money that she spent financing my opponent could have been used for taking back the majority.”
Massie on Tuesday drew support from members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, and Louie Gohmert of Texas also joined in on questioning why Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, supported Massie’s primary opponent.
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the source said, extended the criticism of Cheney to her occasional criticism of Trump. That has included defending Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for his go-slow approach to reopening businesses and other institutions during the coronavirus outbreak.
Texas Rep. Chip Roy then jumped in and told Cheney that his Democratic opponent, Wendy Davis, cited some of Fauci’s medical opinions in campaign tweets. Roy cautioned that Cheney should consider other medical opinions about COVID-19 beyond Fauci.
“We had an important private conversation in our conference. It is important for the American people to have confidence they can go to work and school. There are also large numbers of epidemiologists beyond Dr. Fauci who can instill that confidence,” Roy said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
Gaetz on Twitter called for Cheney’s resignation from her leadership post, while Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, criticized Cheney, writing: “We should all join @realDonaldTrump in advocating to stop our endless wars. Liz Cheney not only wants to stay forever, she’s leading the fight to try to stop him from leaving. Unacceptable.”
Despite the fireworks at the conference meeting, one senior staffer told the Washington Examiner that “the GOP isn’t imploding, as some are reporting. We are attempting to get leadership in Congress that represents our voters, not their own personal interests.”
A House GOP source defended Cheney’s record, pointing to her voting record being closely aligned with the president’s agenda while Gaetz opposed Trump on key foreign policy issues.
Additionally, Cheney has hosted fundraising events for Trump and is a co-captain on his fundraising team.
Trust, but verify. With her Father Dick Cheney being Bush II’s VP, all the i’s and t’s need to be crossed. It is surprising that she has such a top role.. How do these people get into these top jobs (elected in 2017), especially being the daughter of Cheney and Bush’s VP and how Bush II has become a Democrat.
Also, the minority speaker seems to back Cheney rather than listening to both sides and working this out behind the scenes – he took a side.
Both sides need to sit down with the minority speaker and clear the air.
Since there is a conflict and feathers are ruffled on both sides – Cheney might not be the right person for that job since this occurred and the distrust has surfaced – someone else might be better in this position.
I would also be worried about her role in the campaign. Sorry – trust, but verify..
The people who are RINO’s will go to any extinct as we have seen.
Just TRUST, BUT VERIFY.
Democrats play for keeps. Minority leader seems too naive.