House Republicans celebrate removing 'distraction' Cheney as conference chair: 'Mission Accomplished'

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik likely to replace Cheney in the coming days

Many House Republicans on Wednesday celebrated the removal of Rep. Liz Cheney as their conference chair, a decision that came after months of building tensions over the future of the party following President Trump's departure. 

Some said the decision was in the best interest of the party to stay united ahead of the 2022 midterms. Others said it was a positive for Republicans to repudiate Cheney's "neoconservative policies." Others were simply glad Cheney is not longer the third-ranking Republican in the House. 

"Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye Liz Cheney," Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., tweeted. 

"Mission Accomplished," read a press release from Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale, who was one of the earliest Republicans to call for Cheney's ouster, even ahead of a vote earlier this year which she survived. 


"For months it’s been clear that Cheney is unfit for any leadership role in the Republican Party. Conservatives tried to fix the problem in February, but weren't listened to," he said. "Even so, I’m glad we’ve recognized this reality as a Conference. Turning the page on her disastrous tenure will allow House Republicans to focus our messaging on fighting the Pelosi/Biden agenda."

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, meanwhile, lauded the broader policy implications of a repudiation of Cheney for the future of the Republican Party. 

"Today is a good day for Americans. By removing Liz Cheney as conference chair, the House GOP has reaffirmed its commitment to policies that put Americans first," Davidson said. "Hopefully we can complete the shift in focus to break the waning remnants of neoconservative policies that have left America less free, less safe, and more burdened by debt."

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., arrives to speak to reporters after House Republicans voted to oust her from her leadership post as chair of the House Republican Conference, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. 

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., arrives to speak to reporters after House Republicans voted to oust her from her leadership post as chair of the House Republican Conference, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, May 12, 2021.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Davidson continued: "For a long time, Rep. Cheney has made it clear she’d prefer endless wars and warrantless surveillance to traditional Republican priorities of limited government and individual freedom. I think replacing her puts Republicans in a better position for 2022."


Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., said that Cheney was becoming a "distraction" for Republicans as they tried to focus their message on attacking Democrats and winning the House in the midterms. 

Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, agreed. 

"Today’s vote shows that Republicans are united behind one goal: taking back the House," Gooden said. 

Cheney, meanwhile, forcefully responded to her ouster on Wednesday — and her allies defended her. 

"We've got to get back to a place where we are a party that can fight for conservative principles that can fight for substance. We cannot be dragged backward by the very dangerous lies of a former president," Cheney said Wednesday. 

Cheney also said, "I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again never gets anywhere near the Oval Office. We have seen the danger that he continues to provoke with his language."

"I'm all for unity," added Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., a Cheney ally. "I'm all for unity and truth. Truth cannot co-exist with lies."

"What happened today was sad. Liz has committed the only sin of being consistent and telling the truth. The truth is that the election was not stolen," he added.

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., who distanced himself somewhat from Trump's rhetoric after the presidential election but has been closely aligned with Trump on policy and voted against impeaching the former president, said he thought Cheney had been cancelled by her fellow Republicans. 


It's likely that Republicans will move in the coming days to replace Cheney with Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., the only declared candidate for the gig so far. 

"Despite the media's endless attempts to divide us, our Members are united in our laser focus on defeating the radical Socialist Democrat agenda of President Biden and Speaker Pelosi," Stefanik said in a letter to fellow Republicans Wednesday. 

She promised a "disciplined, unified message from our leadership team" and said a "unified leadership team is the key foundation as we work to regain the Majority."

There may be some pushback against Stefanik among members of the House Freedom Caucus like Buck, however. Buck called Stefanik "a liberal" on Wednesday. 

Fox News' Alexandra Rego and Caroline McKee contributed to this report.