The chairman of the Republican Study Committee said Sunday that Liz Cheney has ‘failed’ in her party leadership role by becoming a divisive figure rather than a uniting one.
‘One of my jobs is to hold my Republican leadership accountable for being focused on the Republican ideals that we stand for and the single mission that we have to win back the majority,’ Indiana Representative Jim Banks told ‘Fox News Sunday.’
‘She’s failed in her mission as the chief spokesperson of our party,’ he told host Chris Wallace.
‘We shouldn’t be talking about Liz Cheney, we should be talking about pushing back against the radical Biden agenda, and this is all a distraction from our ability to do that.’
Cheney, the GOP Conference Chairwoman, is facing a slew of criticism from her party – and will likely be ousted in a vote next week – after she upped her criticism of former President Donald Trump in the months after becoming the highest-ranking Republican to vote for his second impeachment.
Chairman of the Republican Study Committee Jim Banks said Sunday that GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney has ‘failed’ the party in her leadership role
The Republican caucus is holding a meeting this week to decide the fate of Cheney in leadership
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) on why they’re trying to push Liz Cheney out of leadership:
“One of my jobs is to hold my Republican leadership accountable for being focused on the Republican ideals and single mission we have to win back the majority … She has failed in her mission…” pic.twitter.com/ZNMfjHaZm2
— The Recount (@therecount) May 9, 2021
Of the 212 Republican in the House of Representatives, 153 of them are members of the GOP Study Committee – making it the largest conservative caucus in Congress.
‘Republicans are almost completely unified,’ Chairman Banks said of the effort ‘to oppose the radical Biden agenda.’
‘We are almost entirely unified on this issue, except for Liz Cheney,’ he clarified
‘Any leader who is not focused on that,’ Banks said, ‘at this point needs to be replaced.’
On Wednesday, the GOP caucus will meet to decide the fate of Cheney in her elected role after top leadership, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have publicly turned against her.
The No. 3 Republican in the House was one of the 10 GOP members who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the January 6 Capitol riots.
During Banks’ interview with Fox on Sunday morning, he told Wallace that he stands by his decision to vote to challenge the results. While reasserting that President Joe Biden is the legitimate president, Banks also continued to question how the election was conducted.
‘I stand by my vote to object on January 6 and stand by the Texas lawsuit,’ he said. ‘I have serious concerns about how the election in November was carried out.’
‘That is where most Republicans in the GOP conference are unified around that single mission and goal and anything that distracts from it will hold us back from doing that,’ he said, bringing it back to Cheney’s future in the party.
Earlier this year, Cheney survived a secret ballot leadership vote 145-61 with the help of McCarthy.
Since then, McCarthy has questioned her ability to carry on as Conference chairwoman since her message seems so departed from the rest of the party.
Ahead of an interview with Fox & Friends last week, McCarthy was caught on hot mic telling co-host Steve Doocey he’s lost confidence in Cheney.
‘I think she’s got real problems,’ he said. ‘I’ve had it with.
‘You know, I’ve lost confidence,’ McCarthy continued in the hot mic moment. ‘Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place.’
Then during his interview, McCarthy told Fox: ‘I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair – to carry out the message.’
‘We all need to be working as one if we’re able to win the majority,’ he added. ‘Remember, majorities are not given; they are earned. And that’s about the message about going forward.’
A key McCarthy ally revealed in comments to The Hill last week: ‘There is no way that Liz will be conference chair by month’s end. ‘When there is a vote, it won’t be a long conference; it will be fast. Everyone knows the outcome.’
Reports indicate thus far that Cheney isn’t trying too hard or attempting to whip up support for her to hold onto her leadership role.
Top leadership is backing New York Representative Elise Stefanik to replace Cheney in House GOP leadership
The daughter of Former Vice President Dick Cheney, however, cast the battle as one far bigger than her own political career in an op/ed in the Washington Post on Wednesday.
‘The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution,’ she wrote.
‘In the immediate wake of the violence of Jan. 6, almost all of us knew the gravity and the cause of what had just happened — we had witnessed it firsthand,’ she said bringing up the Capitol riot that preceded her vote to impeach Trump.
‘The question before us now is whether we will join Trump’s crusade to delegitimize and undo the legal outcome of the 2020 election, with all the consequences that might have. I have worked overseas in nations where changes in leadership come only with violence, where democracy takes hold only until the next violent upheaval. America is exceptional because our constitutional system guards against that. At the heart of our republic is a commitment to the peaceful transfer of power among political rivals in accordance with law. President Ronald Reagan as our American ‘miracle.’
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise has publicly voiced his support for ousting Cheney – while he and other leadership make clear their choice to replace her is New York Representative Elise Stefanik.
‘House Republicans need to be solely focused on taking back the House in 2022 and fighting against Speaker Pelosi and President Biden’s radical socialist agenda, and Elise Stefanik is strongly committed to doing that, which is why Whip Scalise has pledged to support her for Conference Chair,’ Scalise’s spokesperson Lauren Fine said.
Stefanik, not a favorite of some more far-right factions of the party, was a vocal and public defender of Trump during his impeachment hearings.