Is Liz Cheney a conservative or ‘RINO?’

By Lee Cleveland, Polls and Trends - February 5, 2021

Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney (WY) has been on the receiving end of a lot criticism from many in her party lately.

Why?

She broke party ranks and voted to impeach President Donald Trump for his role in inciting a riot at the Capitol on January 6. Only nine other Republicans joined her in doing so on January 13.

Since Trump’s rise to the presidency, many in the GOP have developed a habit of labelling Republicans who are the least bit critical of the former president a RINO (Republican In Name Only). To them, one’s ideologic conservativeness rests squarely on their adoration of Trump.

… Their concept is completely false.

A politician’s ideology is based on 1) their social and economic principles and 2) voting record. It has nothing to do with one’s beliefs about the conduct of another politician.

Admiring or accepting Trump’s behavior doesn’t make one any more conservative than disliking him makes one liberal.

So, is Liz Cheney conservative or a RINO?

According the “conservative” political ratings website, Heritage Action for America, Rep. Cheney, like her famous father, is a strong Republican but not a hardcore conservative.

Her lifetime conservative score of 72% is lower than the Heritage’s score for the average Republican House Member (85%). But, Cheney’s score for the 116th Session of Congress is 82% and about average for a GOP House Member.

With those scores, one would be a little hard-pressed to call her moderate let alone a RINO.

Interestingly, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) also has a lifetime score of 72%. In contrast, a true right winger, Rep. Jim Jordan, boasts a score of 94%.

So, how did Rep. Cheney vote on issues of most interest to conservatives?

In the previous session (2019 and 2020), Cheney voted in lockstep with conservatives on 16 of their most critical 18 pieces of legislation, according to Heritage Action for America.

When dissenting from the far right, she supported 1) the $1.4 Trillion Omnibus & $900 Billion COVID package and 2) the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019.

She sided with conservatives on issues such as 1) Universal Background Checks for Firearms, 2) “Expressing opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals” (H.Res. 124), 3) the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and 4) the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6).

While Rep. Cheney doesn’t always align with conservatives, she’s solid a Republican by any standard who seems to vote her conscience.



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