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. 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,” Rep. Don Bacon said in a statement.
Asked whether Bacon would share how he voted, spokesperson Danielle Jensen said the process was done through a voice vote, and therefore “closed.”
Wednesday’s voice vote by House Republicans was made in less than 20 minutes and means there is no precise way to measure how much support Cheney may have had, the Associated Press reported.
The Nebraska Democratic Party was quick to criticize Bacon for not disclosing how he voted. Earlier this year, the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee labeled Nebraska’s 2nd District, which predominantly covers Omaha, as “competitive” for a Democratic takeover. Bacon easily won reelection in November while President Joe Biden carried the district over former President Donald Trump.
Cheney was ousted from that GOP House leadership position in the wake of her ongoing criticism of Trump, a stance that ran counter to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and a majority of House Republicans.
The Wyoming congresswoman, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on allegations that he incited the insurrection that resulted in storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, has accused the former president of undermining democracy and the nation’s political stability with “destructive lies” challenging the results and validity of the 2020 presidential election.
Rep. Adrian Smith, Nebraska’s third House member, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
World-Herald staff writer Jessica Wade contributed to this report.
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