(USA Features) The House Freedom Caucus is calling on Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to expel Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois from the Republican Conference, accusing them of having “switched teams” to join with Democrats as hand-picked members of the 1/6 Committee looking into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The leader of the caucus, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said having Cheney and Kinzinger in the GOP conference, an organization where Republicans are supposed to meet to plan their political strategy, is “antithetical” to that purpose because of their positions on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee.
“It was antithetical to have sitting in your conference individuals who professed that they want to take out the minority leader and then they want to go join the Democrats on a witch hunt through the Republican Party,” Biggs said at a press conference, Fox News reported.
He noted further that Republicans should not tolerate “those who’ve chosen to support the commission… to go after Republicans.”
“We’ve got two members… of our party who have switched teams,” Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., added, according to Fox News.
“What if you had a football game and two players just all of a sudden kept the same uniform but started playing for the other team. Something has got to be done,” he said.
Cheney and Kinzinger, by contrast, have argued that the rest of the party is astray by continuing to support former President Donald Trump, though members have said in the past they mostly supported Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda.
They also rejected the former president’s claims that the election was stolen from him.
“There is clearly a battle underway for the soul of the Republican Party,” a Cheney spokesperson told Fox News.
“These members represent a dangerous rot that is rooted in the Big Lie, conspiracy theories, bigotry, and disrespect for the rule of law and our law enforcement,” the spokesperson continued.
“Liz knows we have to fight against that to save the party of Lincoln and Reagan.”
Kinzinger went on to respond to calls from some Republicans to strip him and Cheney of their committee assignments.
“If people want to get petty, that’s fine,” he said. “I think that reflects more on people than it does on the situation at hand.”
About a dozen Freedom Caucus members attended the press conference including Reps. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., Jody Hice, R-Ga.
The group also repeated a call for McCarthy to put forward a resolution to replace Pelosi as Speaker.
In addition to blocking Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana, the caucus members also cited a new order issued by Pelosi Wednesday calling on House staff and visitors to be arrested by Capitol Police if they don’t don masks, per her renewed mandate.
“The bottom line, enough is enough of what we’ve put up with here,” Hice said. “She puts forth this draconian rule that says guests and our staff can be arrested for not wearing a mask. Are you kidding me?”
“You can caucus, you can conference, with Republicans or Democrats. There is no independent conference,” Boebert noted.
“Representatives Kinzinger and Cheney have done more to hurt the Republican Conference than help them… These members should not be allowed in our closed-door private meetings or even the Republican cloakroom,” she said.