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Republican Party feels the heat from rank and file over secret House vote to keep Cheney

Rep. Matt Gaetz and the Freedom Caucus inside the House successfully framed fellow GOP Rep. Liz Cheney as the embodiment of the lukewarm Republican establishment within the Beltway – someone willing to flout the will of conservatives back home to appease liberal forces in Washington.

But he and others failed to force Cheney out as the No. 3 House Republican.

As The Hill noted Wednesday night, “The establishment wing of the GOP won a rare and dramatic victory Wednesday night when Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) beat back an attempt by Donald Trump’s staunchest allies to knock her from power as retribution for voting to impeach the former president just three weeks earlier.”

The GOP caucus voted, reportedly by secret ballot, 145-61 to retain Cheney. The outcome was somewhat surprising. The Hill and other outlets had previously reported that Gaetz and Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, another leading critic of Cheney, had rallied 115 Republicans in support of removing her as conference chairwoman.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was among those who supported Cheney, saying during a break in Wednesday’s meeting with Republicans: “People can have differences of opinion. … Liz has a right to vote her conscience.”

In response to the vote, Gaetz and others suggested the argument over the future of the party was not settled.

“Tonight, the GOP decided to keep @RepLizCheney. Tomorrow, the Dems will boot @RepMTG (Marjorie Taylor Greene) from her committees. Both decisions reinforce the power of Washington. It encourages me to go out into America and call attention to changes needed in both parties so the voters are respected.”

Here is an illustration of Gaetz’s point: The Republican Party in her home state of Wyoming has publicly rebuked Cheney for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump, calling that a betrayal of her constituents, 70 percent of whom backed Trump last November. She also has already drawn a GOP challenger for 2022.

On the other hand, Wednesday night’s vote was applauded by the liberal media, discredited establishment neocons like Bill Kristol and the left-wing, Trump-hating former Republicans at the Lincoln Project.

Others who backed the efforts of Gaetz and Biggs warned of dire consequences or were not pleased.

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