Trump Loyalists Push Back Against Liz Cheney

By Claire Hardwick

Representative Liz Cheney has pushed back against former President Trump multiple times during his four years as president, but has most noticeably broken against him following the Capitol Hill riot on January 6th. But not only did Cheney vote for the electoral college confirmation without an objection, she also voted for President Trump’s second impeachment. Cheney was the only Republican leader to do so, and was just joined by nine of her GOP colleagues. While she is taking a stance against the former president and trying to lead the party into a new direction, Trump’s loyalists want her gone. 

Lawmakers are pushing to remove Cheney from her leadership position, a vote that would require two thirds of the party to vote for. Representative Matt Gaetz, one of Trump’s most loyal Trump supporters, is one of the most vocal in his opposition to her leadership position. In an interview with The Hill, he said, “I think it’s problematic for a future of the Republican Party. Liz Cheney represents a vision of the Republican Party that does not energize anyone outside of the Washington, D.C., Beltway.”

Gaetz is part of the Trump GOP supporters who want to build on Trump’s base and further the MAGA movement. But after a failed election, and the loss of the Senate majority, Cheney is trying to see if the party needs to move in a new direction. 

But her new path has led to criticism from her own state elected officials. Wyoming state Senator Anthony Bouchard has said he will primary her in 2022. While he will have the MAGA support behind him, Cheney’s race will indicate just how much sway Trump and his allies have over Republican voters. 

Why this matters: As the Republicans on Capitol Hill move forward from the Trump era, the question remains for party leaders the kind of tone they want to set if they have any hope of regaining the majority in both chambers. McConnell, now the Senate Minority Leader, has noticeably also turned away from Trump. But Graham, and other GOP senators, have made it clear they want to continue to move the party in the same direction as Trump. Following the Capitol Hill riots, it is clear that many lawmakers continue to find Trump a significant influence on their political power. Gaetz and Cheney, as oppositions to one another will prove which direction is more beneficial for the party.