GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik now appears poised to become the next House Republican conference chair after the party united against Rep. Liz Cheney for calling out former President Trump’s Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen. Cheney lost lost her post in the House Republican leadership this morning.
Stefanik’s rise within the party and embrace of Trump in recent years represents an evolution that mirrors that of her party, which coalesced behind Trump and remains loyal to him even with the former President no longer in office and after he attempted to overturn the last presidential election and incited a deadly attack on the US Capitol.
In 2016, Stefanik backed Trump as the party’s presidential nominee, but worked to portray herself as an independent voice for her district.
She aligned herself at the time with House Speaker Paul Ryan, another Republican leader who carefully tiptoed around Trump’s more outlandish comments and spoke out occasionally when he believed the President crossed the line.
In those early years, Stefanik largely kept out of the Trump fray, focusing instead on work on the Armed Services and Intelligence committees, though she broke with Trump over some key priorities, including his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord and the 2017 GOP tax bill.
When House Democrats moved to impeach Trump for the first time in 2019, however, Stefanik emerged as one of the President’s most outspoken defenders, earning Trump’s praise in the process with the President calling her “a new Republican star.”
Amid Trump’s false claims over voter fraud and the 2020 election, Stefanik supported an objection during the Electoral College vote count in Congress held to certify President Joe Biden’s win. She also signed on in support of an amicus brief backing a lawsuit from Texas to the Supreme Court that sought to overturn the results of the election in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia.
Now, Stefanik has Trump’s backing to replace Cheney with the former President saying on Wednesday that she “is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL Endorsement for GOP Conference Chair.”
Read more about her career here.
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