Rep. Jim Banks: Cheney 'Failed' in Leadership, Distracts From GOP Mission Rep. Jim Banks,R-Ind., in 2017. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for WS Productions)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Sunday, 09 May 2021 01:27 PM
House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney has "failed" in her leadership and must be removed from her post as she's become a "distraction" with her stance against former President Donald Trump, Rep. Jim Banks said Sunday.
"I'm the leader of the largest conservative caucus, the Republican Study Committee," the Indian Republican said on "Fox News Sunday." "It is uncomfortable at times, but one of my jobs is to hold my Republican leadership accountable for being focused on the Republican ideals that we stand for and the single mission that we have to win back the majority."
And, he added that Cheney, R-Wyo., has become a "distraction" at a time when House Republicans should be unified to oppose the "radical, dangerous Biden agenda" and win the party's majority back in the House in 2022.
"The reason, Chris, that you and I are talking about Liz Cheney on this important program on Sunday morning is the exact evidence that she's failed in her mission as the chief spokesperson of this party," Banks told show anchor Chris Wallace.
He also insisted that he wasn't being reluctant to speak about Cheney's opposition to Trump as the reason that Republicans will later this week vote to remove her from her post as conference chairperson. She was one of a handful of Republicans to vote to impeach Trump and has spoken out against his continued outcry against the 2020 election.
"Any member of Congress doesn't just represent their district," he said. "They represent 212 members of the Republican conference and right now it is clear she doesn't represent the majority of the conference or focus to win back the majority."
Banks added that rather than opposing Trump, the lawmaker should be talking about President Joe Biden's "radical agenda."
He also stressed that he and his fellow Republicans who oppose Cheney aren't kicking her out of the Republican Party if she is removed from her leadership post."
Banks added that he doesn't know who Republicans will pick to replace Cheney, even though Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y. appears to be the clear favorite to take the leadership role.
Sources say Stefanik has said she intends to serve in the post through the 2022 election, two sources have told Fox News.
Meanwhile, when asked directly if he thinks Biden is the "legitimate president," Banks acknowledged that Biden was elected and inaugurated, and he remains the party's "focus."
"As chairman of the Republican Study Committee, we meet on a weekly basis to counter the radical Biden agenda and push back with policies and talking points," said Banks. "At this point, the Republican Study Committee is filling the void and providing members in the conference with what they need to push back against the agenda."
Wallace pointed out that Banks joined with more than 100 House Republicans in support of a Texas lawsuit to overthrow the election results in other states, and then he voted on Jan. 6 to challenge Biden's victories in several states, and Banks said he stands by both the vote and the lawsuit.
"I have serious concerns about how the election in November was carried out," he said. "It is why I wrote a bill co-sponsored by nearly 100 of my colleagues to strengthen voter education laws and support those measures nationwide…we should be focused on winning back the majority to save this country. That is where most Republicans in the GOP conference are unified around that single mission and goal, and anything that distracts from it will hold us back from doing that."