Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) announced she is officially running to be chair of the House Republican Conference, the No. 3 position among House GOP members, after Republicans voted Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) out on Wednesday morning.
Former President Donald Trump, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) have said they would support Stefanik’s bid. The New York Republican, notably, backed some of Trump’s post-Nov. 3 election claims and mounted a defense of Trump during his first impeachment inquiry.
“I know firsthand the discipline and message it takes to fight back against the biased national media and the entire Democrat and Far-Left infrastructure,” Stefanik said in a Wednesday letter, touting her leadership abilities ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. “I know what it takes to flip a district and grow the Republican Party.”
Stefanik, who didn’t mention Cheney in the letter, wrote that she will back GOP messaging regarding the illegal immigration crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, support law enforcement amid anti-police demonstrations and riots, election security, and strengthening the U.S. military to “counter adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party.” Simultaneously, Stefanik wrote she will develop a “communications posture” and will attempt to “break through the biased media.”
“I will work hard today and every day to listen and earn your confidence and support as House GOP Conference Chair,” she added. “And I look forward to working with you as we share our unified conservative vision, regain the Majority, fire [House] Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi once and for all.”
Since January, meanwhile, Cheney has consistently criticized Republicans’ support of Trump and said the party needs to move away from his embrace. She and nine House Republicans voted with Democrats to impeach Trump, alleging that he incited the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, which ultimately was voted down in the Senate.
Cheney told reporters Wednesday after a voice vote that she will work to oppose Trump if he makes another bid for president but stressed she doesn’t feel betrayed by the GOP for ousting her.
“I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office,” Cheney said after the vote on Wednesday, adding that the United States “needs a strong Republican Party” that is “based on the principles of conservatism.”
“I plan to lead the fight to do that,” she remarked.
McCarthy, when he set the vote on Wednesday, wrote to other Republicans that the GOP needs a unified message in order to recapture the House majority in 2022.