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What Reps. LaHood, Davis Say About Liz Cheney's Ouster From GOP Leadership

Davis and LaHood with awards
U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis, left, and Darin LaHood are part of the Republican minority in the House.

Central Illinois Republican congressmen on Wednesday tried to shift the focus back to policy issues, after a voice vote to remove Rep. Liz Cheney as conference chair shielded them from taking a recorded roll call vote.

Cheney’s removal came in retaliation for her unyielding criticism of former President Donald Trump, his continued false claims of a stolen election, his role in the Jan. 6 riot and his future in the Republican Party. Cheney, of Wyoming, was among the most conservative members of Congress. But the Trump presidency, her criticism of the president and her vote to impeach him turned her party against her.

Wednesday’s vote came in a closed-door meeting, on a voice vote, not a roll call vote. That means the names and numbers of Republican House members voting for or against her were not recorded. Politico reported that U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis and Darin LaHood both missed the vote.

Davis represents parts of Bloomington-Normal. He previously supported Cheney during an earlier threat to her leadership position. In January he said Cheney’s potential ouster would “be a disaster” and could threaten the GOP’s chances of taking the House in 2022.

Davis issued a statement after Wednesday’s vote:

“Liz is a good friend, and I thought she did a good job as conference chair,” Davis said. “I’d like to thank her for her leadership. Our country has real problems that are going unaddressed - a crisis at the southern border, cyberattack on a major pipeline, gas shortages, inflation and rising food and gas prices, lackluster jobs report, an economy hampered by government, kids still not in school, Israel under attack by Hamas terrorists, the list goes on. Democrats are in total control of Washington, yet they refuse to work on real solutions to these problems we face. I’m 100% focused on policy solutions that will improve the lives of the families and taxpayers I represent, and that’s exactly what Congress should be focused on.”

LaHood, a Peoria Republican who also represents parts of Bloomington-Normal, issued a similar statement Wednesday.

“I am grateful for Congresswoman Cheney’s leadership as Conference Chair,” he said. “Under the Biden Administration and Democrat-controlled Washington, we have a crisis at our southern border, skyrocketing gas prices, and April jobs report that shows a lackluster recovery. I am committed to addressing these challenges and look forward to working to unite Republicans throughout Illinois and the country to fire Speaker Pelosi and take back the House in 2022.”

When asked how LaHood voted, a spokesperson said: “As it’s been reported, it was a voice vote. There was no official recorded vote held.”

Another House Republican with ties to Bloomington-Normal, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, was a strong Cheney supporter. He’s been one of former President Trump’s most vocal Republican critics.

“So Liz may lose, and MAGA-lago may celebrate. But I predict that the history books of the future will not celebrate. They will say this was the low point of the Republican Party,” he tweeted Wednesday.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
Tim Shelley is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.
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