After the vote was over, Stefanik walked to speak to reporters from the House minority leader Kevin McCarthy and other members of the executive team at her side. Stefanik thanked Trump for his support and called him a “critical part of our Republican team” – a well-known departure from her predecessor Cheney (R-Wyo.), Whose willingness to challenge the former president ultimately led to her death.
In Stefanik it is clear that McCarthy is getting a deputy who shares his vision of Trump and his role in the party, a critical litmus test in today’s GOP.
“I support President Trump … he is an important voice in our Republican Party and we look forward to working with him,” said Stefanik. “Republican voters are united in their support and desire to work with President Trump, and we are united as Republicans.”
However, Stefanik proceeded cautiously when she was urged by reporters whether there is room in the party for Trump critics such as Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).
“Liz Cheney is part of this republican conference. Adam Kinzinger is part of this republican conference,” said Stefanik. But she added, “We agree on working with President Trump.”
McCarthy and his senior MPs, who have had a strained working relationship with Cheney since their vote against Trump, vowed to have unity in their leadership positions. They then quickly launched an attack on the Biden government and the Democratic “socialist” agenda – the exact type of messaging that Republicans claimed Cheney had prevented them from focusing on.
“We’re going to work more consistently on these issues every day,” said Steve Scalise, Minority Whip. “That’s why we’re proud that Elise was elected today.”
Stefan’s victory is the culmination of a rapid effort by GOP leaders to remove Cheney, the party’s top female leader and frequent Trump critic, from chairing the conference and replacing her with a Trump loyalist.
A handful of other Republicans interested in the position were waved off when the former president, McCarthy and other GOP leaders threw their support behind Stefanik – even before Cheney was elected from the position.
Roy, a member of the Conservative House Freedom Caucus, launched an offer for the race in the 11th hour after protesting the speed of the Cheney replacement vote and Stefanik’s moderate record. But before a candidate forum on Thursday in which he and Stefanik wanted to explain to their colleagues why they should become conference leaders, Roy faced a setback when Trump challenged former top aide to Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) Stand Up primary challenger.
In order to dispel conservative concerns about their voting results, Stefanik promised not to buck the party on big issues and to put their personal ideology aside. She also told her colleagues that she would only serve in this role until 2022. After that, she intends to seek the top spot on the House’s Education and Labor Committee.
She also used the power of the dessert, sending cupcakes with the PAC logo to her colleagues before voting.
But Stefanik may still have a lot to do to win the right flank. When Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) Officially nominated Roy for the No. 3 position, he complained about their voting results and compared them to those of the liberal “squad” of the house, according to sources in the room.
And after the vote, freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Who also nominated Roy, made a similar comparison.
“We don’t need number 3 in our party, who votes next to” The Squad “on most important issues,” Boebert told POLITICO, referring to a democratic group that also includes New York MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez .
“I hope that she stays true to the promises she made during her campaign to win this seat,” added Boebert von Stefanik.
However, the Republicans who left Friday’s meeting were mostly relieved that the Cheney saga, which had occupied their conference and media for weeks, was finally over, allowing them to turn the page for good in their internal departments.
“Now that the conference has made its decision, it is time for us to move forward with a vision and a plan to fight for the forgotten men and women of this country, their way of life and principles – built on the foundation of freedom – it has done great, ”Roy said in a statement.
According to the GOP rules of the house, elected members of the management can only belong to a standing committee, which means that Stefanik must lose one of their tasks unless she is given a waiver. She is currently a member of the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Armed Services Committee. (She also sits on the high-profile House Intelligence Committee, a select committee where members are appointed by leadership.)
Stefanik was officially nominated by Rep. John Katko of New York, a moderate member of their state delegation, who voted to indict Trump. Iowa freshman Rep. Ashley Hinson, whose election was approved by Stefanik’s PAC last fall; and Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania.
A Harvard graduate, Stefanik got into politics through the establishment – as a White House employee for former President George W. Bush and then as a contributor to former President Paul Ryan’s vice presidential campaign. When she was elected to the House in 2014, she was the youngest woman to ever hold a seat in Congress.
As her New York state district turned redder, Stefanik teamed up closely with Trump and earned the reputation of a top Trump defender during the former president’s first impeachment. While in the House of Representatives, Stefanik served as the recruiting chair for the National Republican Congressional Committee and founded her own PAC, dedicated to electing more women. She also serves as a member of the whip team.
“Your leadership has inspired dozens of women to step up and run – many of those women are sitting in this room today. Elise takes care of this conference. She cares about the future of this party, “Hinson said in her nomination speech, according to a source in the room.
Cheney was not seen at Friday’s meeting, according to multiple sources in the room.