Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York wants to help the Republicans take over the House in 2022.
Then she wants to focus on the needs of America’s children.
Going into this week’s vote in which the House Republican Conference is expected to de-throne Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming as conference chairwoman, Stefanik is making it known that she only wants to serve as conference chair through the 2022 elections, according to Politico, which based its report on “multiple Republican lawmakers familiar with the conversations.”
After healing the rift in the GOP ranks, Stefanik — whose Empire State district reaches from posh Saratoga Springs through the Adirondack Mountains all the way to Canada — wants to be the top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, which is a long-time priority.
The current ranking Republican, Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, must give up the spot in the next Congress due to limits on how long a member can hold a leadership post.
Stefanik emerged last week as the favorite to replace Cheney. Although she has the strong support of former President Donald Trump, as a New York brand of conservative her voting record falls far short of where many conservatives wish it was.
Stefanik, as she campaigns for the spot, is also assuring Republicans that she will work with leadership, a change from the occasionally cross-grained Cheney, who was known to speak her mind whether House GOP leadership liked it or not, according to Politico.
Stefanik is expected to meet Monday with the conservative House Freedom Caucus as part of her effort to reach out to members who are hesitant — if not outright opposed — to her rise to the leadership post, Politico reported.
Politico indicated the stopgap nature of Stefanik’s plans could mollify conservatives who would like to have one of their own considered for the spot.
Citing a source it did not name, the Times-Union said Freedom Caucus members want assurances they will be heard.
“Cheney was not a good listener,” said the source. “People just want to make sure Stefanik is a good listener.”
Another source said Stefanik will “reassure them of her conservative bona fides” and “shore up support.”
During an appearance Thursday on a podcast with Steve Bannon, the former strategist for former President Donald Trump, Stefanik stressed unity.
“This is also about being one team,” Stefanik said. “And I’m committed to being a voice and sending a clear message that we are one team, and that means working with the president and working with all of our excellent Republican members of Congress.”
Stefanik said she would “run with support from the president [Trump] and his coalition of voters.”
The Times-Union noted that fundraising, forming a coalition and staying on message loom larger among members than ideology.
Republican Rep. John Katko of New York, whose Syracuse-centered district is to the south and west of Stefanik’s, said he will support Stefanik, according to the Auburn Citizen.
“I have every confidence that Elise will be a superb leader for all of our conference, not just some,” he said. “Elise and I came in together and she knows me as well as she knows conservatives. She knows that I have a different type of district than a lot of conservatives.”
“She knows that if we ever want to be back in control of Congress again, people like me have to win and we have to flourish and we have to have a big tent as the Republican Party. She understands that. She understands that that means she has to advocate for all of us,” he said.
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