Embattled Republican House Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) used floor time at the House of Representatives Tuesday to air her grievances with former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who was in charge of distributing time to House members for a debate on cancel culture, yielded to Cheney. Buck said, “I now recognize my friend and my neighbor to the north, the gentlelady from Wyoming, Ms. Cheney.” This enabled Cheney to speak on the record about her disagreement with the party before a vote scheduled on Wednesday to possibly oust her from leadership.
In her prepared remarks, Cheney said:
[O]ur freedom only survives if we protect it. If we honor our oath, taken before God in this chamber, to support and defend the Constitution, if we recognize threats to freedom when they arise.
Today, we face a threat America has never seen before. A former president who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol in an effort to steal the election has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him. He risks inciting further violence. Millions of Americans have been misled by the former president. They have heard only his words but not the truth as he continues to undermine our democratic process, sowing seeds of doubt about whether democracy really works at all.
I am a conservative Republican, and the most conservative of conservative principles is reverence for the rule of law. The electoral college has voted. More than 60 state and federal courts, including multiple judges the former president appointed, have rejected his claims. The Trump Department of Justice investigated the former president’s claims of widespread fraud and found no evidence to support them.
The election is over. That is the rule of law. That is our constitutional process. Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the Constitution. Our duty is clear: Every one of us who has sworn the oath must act to prevent the unraveling of our democracy. This is not about policy; this is not about partisanship. This is about our duty as Americans. Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not participate in that.
I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy. As the party of Reagan, Republicans have championed democracy, won the Cold War, and defeated the Soviet communists. Today, America is on the cusp of another cold war — this time with communist China.
Attacks against our democratic process and the rule of law empower our adversaries and feed communist propaganda that American democracy is a failure. We must speak the truth. Our election was not stolen, and America has not failed. I received a message last week from a Gold Star father who said standing up for the truth honors all who gave all. We must all strive to be worthy of the sacrifice of those who have died for our freedom.
They are the patriots Katharine Lee Bates described in the words of “America the Beautiful” when she wrote, “Oh beautiful for heroes proved, in liberating strife, Who more than self, their country loved, And mercy more than life.”
Ultimately, Mr. Speaker, this is at the heart of what our oath requires: That we love our country more, that we love her so much that we will stand above politics to defend her, that we will do everything in our power to protect our Constitution and our freedom that has been paid for by the blood of so many. We must love America so much that we will never yield in her defense. That is our duty. Thank you.