Liz Cheney says US will ‘suffer’ if McCarthy backs down on defense

Former Rep. Liz Cheney warned the nation will “suffer” after reports that Rep. Kevin McCarthy is making a deal to limit defense spending to win the House Speaker’s vote.

McCarthy, a California representative and top Republican in the House last term, has failed to garner enough support to be elected the next House Speaker in 13 consecutive votes this week.

After the last round of voting, McCarthy had received 214 votes — four fewer than the 218 majority required to elect a speaker.

However, the Republican leader was hopeful for Round 14, which is expected after members of the House of Representatives reconvene at 8 p.m. ET on Friday. McCarthy told reporters after the House adjourned Friday afternoon, “We’re going to come back tonight, and I believe by that time we’ll have the votes to end this once and for all.”

Cheney warns of alleged McCarthy negotiations
At left, California Representative Kevin McCarthy speaks with a colleague as lawmakers cast a 13th vote for Speaker of the House January 6 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. At right, former Representative Liz Cheney speaks during the Washington Post Global Women’s Summit at the newspaper’s headquarters November 15, 2022 in Washington, DC On Friday, Cheney warned that some of McCarthy’s alleged dealings with dissenting lawmakers could jeopardize national security .
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty; Anna Moneymaker/Getty

McCarthy has reportedly been attempting to strike a deal with his Republican compatriots, who have so far kept him from the speaking position. Bloomberg reported Friday afternoon that three sources familiar with the “emerging deal” said the negotiations include capping fiscal 2024 discretionary government spending at 2022 levels, meaning defense spending will take a hit could.

Cheney, a Wyoming Republican who lost her primary in August, tweeted a link to Friday’s Bloomberg report commenting that some of US enemies, such as China and Russia, are “watching” McCarthy’s alleged decisions.

“Ronald Reagan taught us that weakness is provocative. China and Russia are watching,” Cheney wrote.

“If[Kevin McCarthy]agreed to weaken our national defenses for his personal gain, that will be his legacy and our nation will suffer for it,” she added in her tweet.

Cheney was one of the most prominent Republican critics of former President Donald Trump — who has repeatedly endorsed McCarthy as a speaker — and served as vice chairman of the Jan. 6 committee.

Some of McCarthy’s loudest critics in this week’s vote are conservative lawmakers who have openly criticized US defense spending on Ukraine, such as Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert, who said earlier this week that “American taxpayers certainly win.” ‘, without an elected spokesman because it meant the government hadn’t ‘spent money and sent it to Ukraine’.

As Bloomberg reports, national defense spending increased by $75 billion between fiscal years 2022 and 2023. The Defense Department reported Friday that the Biden administration has provided over $24.2 billion in security aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began in February.

McCarthy was able to win 15 GOP votes in his favor on Friday after several days of negotiations. Florida Representative Byron Donalds, who was one of the alternate speaker nominations from dissenting Republicans this week, released a expression on Twitter on Friday after flipping his vote for McCarthy, saying he and several colleagues were working with the Republican leader “in good faith.”

“The last few days I have been working with the designated speaker @kevinomccarthy and several of my colleagues in good faith to ensure the accountability, representation and commitments of the House of Representatives leadership at the 118th Congress,” Donalds wrote. “The progress we’ve made is significant.”

news week reached out to Cheney for further comments. Liz Cheney says US will ‘suffer’ if McCarthy backs down on defense

Rick Schindler

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