More than a dozen of the House’s most right-wing members on Thursday signed onto a letter pushing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for a vote to oust Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) from the House Republican conference over their membership on a committee probing the Capitol riot with a wide investigatory net likely to ensnare some of them.
Among the 16 new signers, all members of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, are Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.).
At least three of the members spoke at D.C. rallies preceding the attack, and others collaborated on efforts to overturn former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss, which puts them in the crosshairs of the Jan. 6 panel’s sweeping records requests.
The letter, from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), argues Cheney and Kinzinger would act as “spies for the Democrats” in conference meetings where Republicans discuss strategies to counter the panel, pressing McCarthy to allow a conference vote.
That only 16 members of the more than 40-strong caucus signed the letter suggests there is division even among the House’s rightmost members about taking such a radical step.
The members are proposing a change to conference rules that would expel any member who takes a committee assignment without the blessing of GOP leadership.
McCarthy has not ruled out punishing the two lawmakers but said the decision is ultimately up to the conference – though he tabled Biggs’ proposed measure when it was first raised in July, according to ABC News.
Cheney and Kinzinger have shown no sign of backing down. Cheney accepted an appointment as vice chair of the committee on Thursday and said she the panel will not be “deterred by threats or attempted obstruction.” Kinzinger spokesperson Maura Gillespie told Forbes repeated calls by some members to oust the two lawmakers “calls into question their true motives.”
Cheney and Kinzger, both vocal opponents of their party’s pro-Trump elements, are the only two Republican members of the committee, both appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. McCarthy withdrew his five picks for the panel in July after Pelosi refused to seat two: Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
“The Biden regime’s strategy of arming and equipping those who seek to do us harm is pathetic, and the GOP conference should not fallow [sic] suit. Kinzinger and Cheney should be removed from our conference immediately,” Boebert said in a statement.