The following is a transcript of an interview with Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney, which aired Sunday April 11, 2021 on “Face the Nation.”
MARGARET BRENNAN: We’re back with the third Republican in the House, Wyoming MP Liz Cheney, she’s also joining us from Capitol Hill. Hello to you, Congressman.
REPRESENTATIVE LIZ CHENEY: Hello, MARGARET. Thank you for. And congratulations too.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you. I love having powerful women back to back.
REPRESENTATIVE. CHENEY: That’s right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Directly to you on …
REPRESENTATIVE. CHENEY: Powerful women who are mothers of five children, you know.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I – and I think there’s something to that in terms of cat feuds, no doubt.
REPRESENTATIVE. CHENEY: It’s probably true.
MARGARET BRENNAN: In 2017, you supported the idea of spending, you know, President Trump’s $ 1 trillion proposal on infrastructure. Nothing ever came of it, of course. But you liked the concept. Why are you opposing it now?
REPRESENTATIVE. CHENEY: Well, that’s a very different proposition, obviously. Something less than 6%, as you said, of this proposal that President Biden has put forward is actually infrastructure focused. The National Manufacturers Association said we would likely lose over a million jobs if this were to pass. And – and you will certainly see on top of the corporate tax increases in the bill, you will see tax increases for the middle class. It’s a model that we – we see Democrats use time and time again, where they massively increase spending. They massively expand the size and reach of the federal government and then they come back and impose tax hikes on the middle class. So these are not things that we support, not things that I support.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, that tax hike you talk about with the National Manufacturers Association, which has lost a million jobs in two years. It specifically targeted a corporate tax rate of about 28%. Is this an area you are focusing on? What if President Pelosi gives you an olive branch and says we’ll go down to 25%, for example? I mean, is this something you can work with?
REPRESENTATIVE. CHENEY: Look, the bill would need to be fundamentally redone. We would need a different bill. The focus should actually be on infrastructure, not so many Green New Deal additional spending priorities, spending priorities focused on helping Democratic allies across the country. You know, we – we’ve already, as you pointed out, allocated trillions of dollars since January and – and last year as well. I’m really concerned about the impact on the economy, the potential inflationary pressure that we might see with this extra cash injection. And – and so much is unnecessary. Six percent is actually focused on the type of infrastructure for which there is bipartisan support. So I urge Democrats to focus on this.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator Portman, your Republican colleague, said that 20% of the bill, if you are generous, is for infrastructure. You – you put it even lower at 6%. On the issue of paid vacation, which President Pelosi says is one of his long-term goals, is that something you can agree to?
REPRESENTATIVE. CHENEY: Look, MARGARET, I think there are fundamental differences in the way Democrats and Republicans approach the economy. We know we need to adopt policies that will help stimulate this economic recovery, policies that will create jobs, policies that will not make the federal government bigger to participate in all aspects of our lives. . We understand that the engine of economic growth is the private sector.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But as you know, that was so important when it came to the employment of women and women in this past pandemic-related contraction.
REPRESENTATIVE. CHENEY: Look …
MARGARET BRENNAN: Isn’t that something you think is necessary?
REP CHENEY: I think it’s very important for us to provide opportunities for everyone. And I think, you know, one of the things that Democrats do a lot is they kind of try to segment women and say, well, that’s women’s issues. I think women need to be able to know that their elected officials are doing everything possible to ensure their safety, to ensure the safety of the nation, to bring their children back to school. If you want to talk about what’s really going to help women get back to work, is the reopening of schools. And President Pelosi, four times now since January, has blocked the law to reopen House examination schools. These are the kinds of things we should be focusing on.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Former President John Boehner was right on CBS Sunday morning saying January 6 should have been a wake-up call for your party. It was an example of “political terrorism,” was a phrase he used. And he doesn’t understand why more members of your party aren’t speaking. You have spoken and President Trump is threatening you primary. Was it worth the risk to separate?
REPRESENTATIVE. CHENEY: Look, January 6 was clearly an attack that was attempted to stop the electoral vote count. I just listened to Speaker Pelosi say that, quote, we are in a good situation right now. We are not in the right place. We absolutely need – and it is his responsibility to create a commission, a bipartite commission to study what happened, to understand what the provocation was, to understand what happened, to make sure. that this does not happen again. After every major crisis in this country, be it September 11,
MARGARET BRENNAN: There was no – there was no Republican support for the version that she proposed, –
REPRESENTATIVE. CHENEY: Well.
MARGARET BRENNAN: … who would have had a Democratic majority.
REPRESENTATIVE. CHENEY: The version she proposed was not bipartisan. It was very strongly partisan towards the Democrats. It is a serious problem. It shouldn’t be a partisan issue. You just asked 140 national security officials in the Republican and Democratic administrations to send a letter to Congress saying we need a commission. I think this is the most important thing we have to do –
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
REPRESENTATIVE. CHENEY: … so that this kind of attack doesn’t happen again.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, unfortunately last night the president – the former president seemed to speak with pride about the size of the crowd on January 6th. He delivered the speech at Mar-a-Lago. He was the keynote speaker at the RNC fundraiser and spoke of Vice President Pence not doing more to stop voter certification, according to the Times and Post reports. So, is he really the best messenger for the party?
REPRESENTATIVE. CHENEY: You know, the former president uses the same language that he knows to have provoked the violence on January 6th. You know, as a party we have to focus on the future. We must focus on adopting the Constitution and not on the insurgency. And I think it’s very important that people realize that a fundamental part of the Constitution and who we as Americans are is the rule of law. It’s the judicial process. The election was not stolen. A judicial process was in place. If you attack the judicial process and attack the rule of law, you are not defending the Constitution. You are at war with the Constitution. And for us, as a party, we must adopt the Constitution and we must also come up with positive solutions. We must be the party of hope, of aspiration, of inspiration. The party that recognizes and understands that, you know, taxes have to be low. The government has to be small, strong national defense, those basic things, not the insurgency party.
MARGARET BRENNAN: President Pelosi just said that it is your party to take responsibility for Congressman Matt Gaetz, who as you know is under an ethical investigation. Are you ready to ask for his resignation? Or will you wait?
REPRESENTATIVE. LIZ CHENEY: You know, as soon as the mother of girls, the accusations are definitely sickening. And as the speaker noted, an ethics investigation is underway. Criminal investigations are also underway. And I’m not going to comment further on this publicly at this time, MARGARET.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Were you surprised by these allegations?
REPRESENTATIVE. LIZ CHENEY: I won’t comment further, MARGARET.
MARGARET BRENNAN: OK, well, here’s one of your main criticisms, so I had to give you this opportunity, as you well know.
REPRESENTATIVE. CHENEY: Thanks for the opportunity, MARGARET.
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right, congressman. We will leave it there. We will be back with a lot more of FACE THE NATION. Stay with us.