Liz Cheney Does Not Back Down in Floor Speech

As House Republicans prepare to oust her from leadership position
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2021 12:01 AM CDT
Updated May 12, 2021 6:42 AM CDT
Liz Cheney Does Not Back Down in Floor Speech
In this photo taken Tuesday, April 20, 2021, House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters following a GOP meeting at the Capitol in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

On what appears likely to be her last night as the No. 3 Republican leader in the House of Representatives, Liz Cheney gave a floor speech being called "defiant" and "fiery" by many media outlets. "Today, we face a threat America has never seen before. A former president who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol in an effort to steal the election has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him. He risks inciting further violence," Cheney said. (The Hill has her full remarks.) She said anyone who backs Trump's baseless claims of election fraud is in conflict with the constitution. "I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president's crusade to undermine our democracy."

Cheney, who is expected to be booted as GOP conference chair in a Wednesday morning vote and ultimately replaced by Rep. Elise Stefanik, has made no effort to convince colleagues to vote in her favor, Politico notes, nor has she backed down from the message that's made her so controversial in the Republican Party. As the New York Times puts it, Cheney, who was wearing a pin depicting George Washington's battle flag as she spoke, "has embraced her downfall rather than fight it, offering herself as a cautionary tale in what she is portraying as a battle for the soul of the Republican Party." Members of her party, however, started to file out of the chamber as her speech began. (More Liz Cheney stories.)

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