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Nebraska GOP House members won't say how they voted on Cheney ouster
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Nebraska GOP House members won't say how they voted on Cheney ouster

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Congresswoman Liz Cheney is speaking out as she faces potential removal from her House leadership role.She wrote in The Washington Post that the Republican party is "at a turning point" and "must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the constitution."The third-highest-ranking House Republican is facing opposition from her party for saying the 2020 presidential election was not stolen and that anyone spreading what's been dubbed the "big lie" is "poisoning the democratic system."Wednesday, former President Trump and number two House GOP leader Congressman Steve Scalise endorsed Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who is a staunch Trump supporter. Cheney acknowledges embracing the president's statements may help lawmakers politically but says it will "do profound long-term damage" to the Republican party and the country.Cheney already survived a no confidence vote after she voted to impeach President Trump last year.But this time around House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is no longer defending her.Cheney writes she's committed to defending "the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process no matter what the short-term political consequences might be."President Biden also weighed in on the power struggle in the Republican Party calling it a "mini revolution.""I've been a democrat for a long time. We've gone through periods. We've had internal fights and disagreements. I don't ever remember any like this," said the president. "I think the Republicans are further away from trying to figure out who they are and what they stand for than I thought they would be at this point."Lawmakers return to Washington next week and we could see a GOP conference vote on Cheney's future Wednesday.

Nebraska Republican House members declined to say Wednesday how they voted when House Republicans removed Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming from her GOP leadership position on a voice vote.

But the tone of their answers pointed to a desire to move on.

"For many of us who are friends with Liz Cheney and have stood by her, the ongoing re-litigation of the past has become a problematic distraction from our obligation to working people, who are proud of America, who want effective government, but who are struggling to get ahead," Rep. Jeff Fortenberry said in a written statement in response to a question asking how he voted.

"I respect Rep. Cheney and defend her right as a congresswoman to speak her mind," Rep. Don Bacon said.

"Right now, I believe the House GOP strategy must be forward-thinking, instead of continually re-litigating the past.

"We should be united on messaging and vision and that is the role of the House Conference chair," Bacon said.

Cheney was ousted from that GOP House leadership position in the wake of her ongoing criticism of former President Donald Trump, a stance that ran counter to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and a majority of House Republicans.

Rep. Adrian Smith, Nebraska's third House member, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSdon

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