Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview Tuesday that Republicans will remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as the House GOP Conference chair by the end of next week and will soon find a replacement for the controversial Never Trump Republican.
Gooden spoke to Breitbart News as House Republicans’ frustration with Cheney has reached a “boiling point.” Conservatives have now moved to remove the controversial Republican from her post as the third-ranking Republican.
The Texas conservative told Breitbart News that Cheney has continually distracted from Republicans’ messaging and mission to back the House majority. Gooden said that most Republicans were willing to put her vote to impeach then-President Donald Trump behind them; however, her contradicting McCarthy and other issues have led them to move to oust her.
Gooden predicted last week that Cheney would be ousted by the end of May; however, he said that the movement has gained so much steam that House Republicans will remove her from leadership by the end of next week.
“I think members are fed up, and in fact, when I made that prediction, I said the end of the month, and I would probably revise that now and say by the end of next week. The temperature is rising on this. People are fed up with the lack of leadership on her part and her unwillingness to put her issues behind her,” Gooden said. “No one cares at this point that she voted to impeach or that she doesn’t care for President Trump. At this point, people are upset that she’s openly contradicting the other leaders of the House and making things about her when we should be making everything about taking back the majority.”
Gooden said in a statement Tuesday that House Republicans “cannot fight for the America First agenda with her in a leadership position.”
Gooden said that Cheney’s siding with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) over her colleague McCarthy served as a breaking point for many House Republicans.
He continued, “I think maybe the straw on the camel’s back last week was perhaps contradicting Kevin McCarthy’s position on the [January 6] commission. And siding with Nancy Pelosi on issues and talking with the press, it’s just a really bad look. It has killed confidence that many of us were willing to give her after that February vote. I myself included, we were willing to give her a chance and put it behind us and move forward, and I think everyone put it behind us except for Liz Cheney. She’s refused to move forward and wants to continue to spend her time talking about things that aren’t helpful for us getting back into the majority.”
While Cheney has criticized Republican initiatives to embrace issues important to the working class, Gooden said that Republicans were willing to embrace Cheney as part of a big tent Republican conference.
“I think policy differences are commonplace, and everyone can overlook a disagreement on policy. It’s publicly confronting Kevin McCarthy – and you’re the elected conference leader – that there’s a problem. She’s just made this all about her since February, and it’s gotten worse and worse every week, and people are fed up with it, and the second chances have run out,” he said.
Gooden also said that part of the reason Cheney survived her leadership challenge in February was that Republicans did not find a suitable alternative for the embattled Republican. He said that Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is quickly rising as a potential replacement for Cheney.
“I think that Elise Stefanik is rising as that alternative, and when we get to a vote next week, there will be a clear, sensible alternative, and this argument that we are getting rid of the one female leader in the conference will be taken off the table,” Gooden said.
Gooden argued that a good Republican Conference chair would help unite House Republicans.
“It’s not brain surgery. It would be nice to have a female conference chair, continue to have that, and someone that is on board with the Republican Conference. And Liz Cheney is not. And there are lots of quality potential candidates that I think will emerge, and I think we will all get behind one very quickly,” he said.
Gooden concluded the interview, contending that Cheney wrongfully thought her surviving the February leadership challenge gave her a mandate when Gooden said that it was only because McCarthy vouched for her.
Gooden said, “I believe that she wrongfully interpreted her victory that day as a vote of confidence in her and as a sign of her strength and influence, and I think she failed to acknowledge and realize that deep down and realize and that the only reason that she is still conference chairwoman that night is because Kevin McCarthy allowed it to happen and pushed the vote that way. I think she has been operating that way every since as if she had a mandate from the conference, and I think she’s realizing now that and I have always found her to be a thoughtful and intelligent person, but her actions in the last week or so have made me question her grasp on political realities in the House.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.