Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has been signaling to GOP colleagues that she’s only aiming to serve one term in House GOP leadership if she’s elected conference chair, according to multiple reports.
GOP lawmakers familiar with the New York Republican’s discussions about her plans told Politico that Stefanik has been assuring colleagues concerned about her historically more moderate voting record, that she only plans to finish out the rest of the current cycle as conference chair if she is gets picked to replace Cheney in the widely anticipated ouster.
In the new Congress, Stefanik has said she hopes to grab the top job on the House Education and Labor Committee, Politico said. CNN confirmed that reporting.
Stefanik is also expected to address the Freedom Caucus on Monday as part of her effort to reach out to members who have doubts about her rise to leadership before the Republican conference meets Wednesday.
House GOP leadership have all but abandoned current conference chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who has refused to bend to Trump’s election falsehoods or the Republican Party’s apparent unwillingness to reckon with the Capitol attack perpetrated by a pro-Trump mob earlier this year.
Although Stefanik’s loyalty to Trump, foremost, has been elevated among her credentials for the job, some conservative lawmakers have expressed concerns over her voting record which has been largely more moderate than Cheney’s.
While Stefanik has promoted Trump’s stolen election lie and painted herself as the former president’s devoted ally, she represents a more moderate district in upstate New York which is reflected to some degree in her voting record. According to FiveThirtyEight, Cheney voted with Trump 92.9 percent of the time, while Stefanik voted with Trump just 77.7 percent. Stefanik also opposed some of Trump’s policy proposals, including the 2017 tax cuts which she said would hurt her constituents.
Members of the House Freedom Caucus reportedly aired their grievances on a Wednesday phone call, and complained that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and others have rushed to rally behind her to lead GOP messaging ahead of 2022, Politico said.
If Stefanik carries out her pledge to only serve the rest of this term in House GOP leadership, there would be an open position for the No. 3 spot, which would become the majority whip position if Republicans regain control of the House in next year’s midterms.