Senior Republicans Back Liz Cheney amid Calls for Replacement over Impeachment Vote

Several senior Republicans are lining up behind congresswoman Liz Cheney as calls for her to be replaced as chair of the House Republican Conference have grown since her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Cheney, who represents Wyoming's at-large congressional district, is the third ranking Republican in the House. Some of her colleagues have been pushing for her to be replaced.

However, some of the most senior House Republicans have backed Cheney in recent days amid a push for unity in the party, which now finds itself in a minority in both the House and Senate, though the Democratic majority in the Senate depends on Vice President Kamala Harris' deciding vote.

Congressman Michael McCaul, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, publicly opposed replacing Cheney on Thursday.

"Removing Liz as the Conference Chair when she did exactly what the Leader told all of us to do – vote her conscience – sends a bad message," McCaul said.

"And I've spoken with many members of our Conference who have expressed their support for Liz and her leadership. I have confidence she will remain in her position and she has my support."

JUST IN: @RepLizCheney gets a vote of confidence from a major House GOP player -- Foreign Affairs ranking member @RepMcCaul.
"Removing Liz as the Conference Chair when she did exactly what the Leader told all of us to do – vote her conscience – sends a bad message." pic.twitter.com/3iVq27uxri

— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) January 21, 2021

Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans who joined Democrats in voting to impeach Trump for a second time. At the time, she pulled no punches in a strong statement explaining her actions.

House Freedom Caucus chairman Congressman Andy Biggs of Arizona and freshman Congress Matt Rosendale of Montana have been leading figures in an effort to force a vote on Cheney's future. Other members have publicly called for her resignation, including prominent Trump ally, Florida congressman Matt Gaetz.

However, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republican Whip Steve Scalise, the two most senior Republicans in the House, have both said they want Cheney to stay in her role.

"We will have a conference next week. We won't air it to the public. But we'll answer the questions everybody has. This is the same leadership team with the ranking members and others that came five seats away from winning a majority when everybody in America thought we were going to lose 20 seats," McCarthy said on Thursday.

"Yes, we allow differences of opinion inside our conference. They're welcomed. But I think there's questions that need to be answered, style in which things were delivered. At the end of the day, we will unify because our policies are right, which will unify us," he said.

"Do we have growing pains? Yes, we will. But we will do it in our private manner of a conference that we hold every time and we'll have it next week."

Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Kevin McCarthy
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) speaks during a news conference with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other Republican members of the House of Representatives at the Capitol on July 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. Senior Republicans are backing Cheney to remain as House Republican Conference chair. Samuel Corum/Getty Images