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Liz Cheney has been removed as House GOP Conference chair. What does the chair do?

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 5/12/2021 Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY
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WASHINGTON — Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump and the third-ranking House Republican, was removed from her leadership position by conference vote on Wednesday.

Cheney, who is one of the 10 Republican House members who voted to impeach Trump over his alleged role in inciting the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, has served as the chair of the House Republican Conference since 2019, under House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

Trump and his allies have thrown their support behind Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., to be Cheney's replacement. Stefanik's profile within the party rose during Trump's first impeachment proceedings in 2019 due to her vehement defense of the former president, though her voting record is not as closely aligned with Trump's priorities as Cheney's has been.

a person wearing a suit and tie: Representative Liz Cheney on March 9, 2021, in Washington, D.C. © Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images Representative Liz Cheney on March 9, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

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Live updates: Cheney ousted from House GOP leadership position in closed-door vote

What does the House Republican Conference chair do?

The Republican Conference is made up of all the Republican members of Congress, who usually meet on a regular basis to discuss policy priorities and legislation. The chair oversees those meetings and the day-to-day operations of the conference, and is elected by the members of the conference. 


Video: Rep. Liz Cheney ousted from GOP leadership position (TODAY)

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The conference also approves committee assignments and elects House party leadership. It produces daily legislative materials distributed to members and is responsible for communicating to members what the party's message is.

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

According to the House History, Art and Archives site, there was no documented evidence of any formal chair for Republican organizations before the 38th Congress between 1863 and 1865.

The House Conference chair is the third-ranking Republican, behind minority leader McCarthy and Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. There are also a vice chair, currently Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., and a secretary, Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., of the conference.

Cheney was elected to the conference chair position in November 2018 by her fellow Republican members of Congress.

Cheney avoided another attempt to remove her from leadership in February just after her vote to impeach Trump and statements blaming him for the riot, but this time around there is more pressure from Republican lawmakers to see her gone.

"The House GOP has a massive opportunity to upgrade this week from warmonger Liz Cheney to gifted communicator Elise Stefanik," Trump said in a statement on Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Liz Cheney has been removed as House GOP Conference chair. What does the chair do?

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