For her part, Ms. Cheney made it clear that she regarded her ouster as a historic mistake, and intended to continue to be vocal in her criticism. She invited David Hume Kennerly, a former official White House photographer under President Gerald R. Ford with deep ties to her family, to record the day behind the scenes, and defended her stance in a lengthy television interview with NBC less than an hour after the vote.
It represented a remarkable arc for the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, a stalwart Republican who became a despised figure among the left for advancing the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, a falsehood that drove the nation to war. On Wednesday, though, Democrats lavished praise on Ms. Cheney for her refusal to spread a lie, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling her “a leader of great courage, patriotism and integrity,” and pointing to her removal as a troubling sign for Republicans.
“For the sake of our democracy, reasonable Republicans across the country must take back their party,” Ms. Pelosi said.
Behind closed doors in the Congressional Auditorium, a blue-carpeted, wood-paneled hall where Republicans sat in theater-style seats, Ms. Cheney took to the stage on Wednesday morning to make her parting plea, drawing jeers as she warned her colleagues about the consequences of their current course. She ended with a prayer quoting from the Book of John — “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” — and asking God to “help us to remember that democratic systems can fray and suddenly unravel.”
“When they do,” she added, “they are gone forever.”
Republicans made it clear they were not interested in those reminders.
“She who thinks she leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk,” said Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, as she made the motion to recall Ms. Cheney, according to a statement her office released afterward. “Liz, I’m afraid you’re a woman who is only taking a walk right now. You have lost your followers.”
Republican leaders, who portrayed Ms. Cheney’s removal as a way to unify the party, declined to allow members to register a position on it. When Representative Tom Reed of New York, a moderate who has announced his retirement from Congress, rose to ask whether a recorded vote was allowed, he was told no. Mr. McCarthy had told his colleagues that a voice vote was important to show “unity,” and that it was time to “move forward” and look toward winning back the House, according to a person familiar with the remarks.