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Who is Liz Cheney? House Republicans' No. 3, daughter of a VP, Trump critic

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WASHINGTON — Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who heads the House GOP conference, is facing an all-but-guaranteed ouster over her refusal to accept former President Donald Trump as the center of the party and endorse his false claims of election fraud.

Cheney was one of 10 Republicans in the House to vote for Trump's impeachment over his alleged incitement of the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, and has since remained firm in her belief that Trump's rhetoric led to the violence.

Trump and his allies have called for her to be removed from her leadership position and said she should be voted out of office, with a caucus vote on her removal reportedly in the works for next week.

In her words: Rep. Liz Cheney writes in op-ed that GOP is at a 'turning point,' calls out McCarthy comments on Trump

Who is Liz Cheney? Here's what to know about her:

Cheney's family legacy

The Wyoming Republican is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney — who served alongside former President George W. Bush — and former second lady Lynne Cheney.

Before Dick Cheney was vice president, he, too, held the same House leadership role his daughter occupies in the late 1980s, and went on to be House minority whip and a secretary of defense.

Liz Cheney is married to Philip Perry, and they have five children.

She had a public rift with her younger sister, Mary Cheney, around 2013 due to her opposition to same-sex marriage despite her sister's marriage to a woman.

Former Vice-President of the United States Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney take part in a USA TODAY interview.
Former Vice-President of the United States Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney take part in a USA TODAY interview.

In Congress since 2017

The third-ranking Republican in the House, Cheney is also Wyoming's only representative due to its small population.

The 54-year-old has held her seat in the House since 2017, and assumed her title as chair of the Republican conference in 2019, under House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

She serves on the House Armed Services Committee.

Scalise backs Stefanik: Trump, No. 2 House Republican Steve Scalise throw support behind Elise Stefanik for Liz Cheney's leadership post

Cheney has a 98% positivity rating from the conservative Heritage Foundation, which rates lawmakers based on their voting records' alignment with the think tank's political arm.

According to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight, Cheney voted in line with Trump 92.9% of the time while he was in office.

Before she was in the House, Cheney ran an unsuccessful bid for a Wyoming Senate seat in 2013 and 2014, promising to align herself with Tea Party favorites at the time. She discontinued her campaign citing family health reasons.

She was also a former State Department official in Bush's administration and was a practicing international law attorney.

Trump critic: Liz Cheney persists in pushing back on Trump's election claims despite perilous position in GOP

Cheney's criticism of Trump long earned her rebukes from fellow Republicans, with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., calling for her to step down well before her vote to impeach. When Trump refused to wear a face mask in public amid the coronavirus pandemic, Cheney tweeted a photo of her father in a mask with the hashtag #realmenwearmasks. She took frequent swipes at Trump, mostly over policy differences.

The current abandonment of support for Cheney is a blow to her career path, as she has been widely respected in conservative politics and was considered one of the next in line to lead House Republicans.

The move to replace Cheney

Cheney avoided an ouster from her leadership role in February, after she voted to impeach Trump, with a 145-61 secret ballot among the Republican conference to keep her in place.

Her position on Trump was backed up by other prominent Republicans like McCarthy, who soon after the riot said, "The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters." He later walked back those remarks, and has now signaled he supports removing Cheney.

Biden weighs in: 'I don't understand the Republicans': Joe Biden says GOP in middle of 'mini-revolution' amid Cheney dustup

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who rose to prominence as a new member of Congress for her staunch support of Trump during his first impeachment proceedings over his dealings with Ukraine in 2019, has been put forth as a replacement for Cheney in the House Republican conference. She received endorsements from Trump and the No. 2 House Republican, Steve Scalise, R-La.

Stefanik voted in line with Trump 77.7% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Who is Liz Cheney? Wyoming rep, VP's daughter, Trump critic

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