Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) is mulling a challenge to the New York Republican who is poised to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), his colleague who was unceremoniously ousted as conference chair on Wednesday.
Although Rep. Elise Stefanik’s loyalty to Trump, foremost, has been elevated among her credentials for the job, some of the GOP caucus’ more conservative members have been stewing over her rushed endorsement by House GOP leaders Kevin McCarthy (CA) and Steve Scalise (LA).
According to Punchbowl News, Roy, who is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, is considering the challenge amid criticism from some far-right Republicans that Stefanik’s voting record has not been conservative enough to carry the GOP’s true message. The Daily Caller reported the same.
That record was highlighted by Roy in a letter he issued to GOP colleagues on Tuesday when he criticized Stefanik’s “leadership-tapped” selection.
In it, he also outlined what he believed to be the goals and future of the GOP conference — in what could be read as a kind of audition for the role and a call to unite against Trump’s critics.
“I believe our goal should be to fight, as did President Trump, for the forgotten men and women of America, to throw sand into the gears of every radical effort put forth by Democrats who don’t give a rip about them,” he wrote.
Roy’s power grab chastising Cheney for “finger-wagging” at Trump, comes after he defended Cheney during a call for her ouster over her vote to impeach Trump for inciting an insurrection on the Capitol earlier this year. He later reversed course and pounded Cheney’s “general failure to lead the conference” in his letter Tuesday.
While some of her more staunchly conservative colleagues grumble about her anticipated rise to the third-ranking spot, Stefanik has privately been pledging to a handful of concerned Republican members that she only intends to fill out the House GOP leadership role through 2022, and later take on leadership in the House Education and Labor Committee.
A spokesman for Roy appeared to downplay the possibility of Roy’s run for the leadership spot, saying in a statement that the congressman has rapt attention to his home district.
“While not ruling anything out, Congressman Roy has never sought a position in conference leadership. His focus is on serving Texas’ 21st Congressional district, the American people, and the Constitution,” the spokesman reportedly said.