HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) –– Two of Pennsylvania’s Republican members of Congress are speaking out about their vote Wednesday to oust U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming from House leadership.
U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14) said in a statement he will support Cheney’s likely successor, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, in part because of how she handled herself during former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial.
Trump was accused of inciting the attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6. Five people died in the attack. 57 senators voted to convict him, but that was 10 votes short of the two-thirds needed for conviction. Cheney was among the 10 Republicans who voted with House Democrats to impeach.
“Elise strongly defended President Trump during the impeachment hearings [and] she has a brilliant command of the conservative message,” Reschenthaler said. “We need a fresh voice to expose the Biden Administration’s radical policies…not constantly relitigate the past – Elise will lead us in that direction.”
Shortly after House Republicans cast a voice vote, U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of the 16th District in western Pa. tweeted Cheney has “consistently failed” to represent all House Republicans.
Cheney, formerly the House GOP’s conference chair, is one of the few Congressional Republicans who acknowledge the election was not stolen, and she says Trump should have no role in the GOP.
Cheney also opposed rejecting Pennsylvania’s 2020 electoral college vote earlier this year.
Kelly, Reschenthaler and 136 others voted not to certify that result without any evidence calling it into question, relying instead on Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud and on claims that the state’s executive and judicial branches unconstitutionally interfered in the voting process. Those claims were among those made in lawsuits that failed or were rejected by state and federal courts.
WITF reached out to the other seven Republican congressmen, but none has shared how or whether he voted on Cheney’s ouster.
But more than 100 GOP party members, including former Governor Tom Ridge and ex-House member Charlie Dent, said they are making good on their February threat to form a new moderate party, in a split with Trump supporters.
The group plans to sign a letter this week urging the GOP to throw off Trump, or face their opposition in future elections. Many were ardently anti-Trump in the leadup to and aftermath of the 2020 election.
“I’m still a Republican, but I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth because how quickly the party has divorced itself from truth and reason,” letter organizer and former Department of Homeland Security official Miles Taylor told the New York Times.