Stefanik says new role good for district

Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, right, speaks to members of the press after being elected House Republican Conference chairperson on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS

WASHINGTON — Rep. Elise M. Stefanik was inaugurated as the House Republican Conference chairperson earlier this month, a position she says will give her the opportunity to advocate for the real concerns she’s heard from her constituents and voters across the country.

As the third-most senior member of House Republican leadership, the House Republican Conference chairperson is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the conference, which is responsible for communicating the party’s message to its congressional members. In this position, Rep. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, said she has the capacity to advocate for her constituents more effectively than ever before.

“My priority is always making sure that the people of New York’s 21st Congressional District have a seat at the table at the highest levels, and this helps meet that priority and absolutely allows me to advocate very effectively for my constituents,” she said in an interview Thursday.

The district-specific issues Rep. Stefanik is focused on haven’t changed from her re-election last year. She said she’s still focused on advocating for the military and Fort Drum, ensuring troops are ready and able to complete any mission they may be tasked with and that military families are supported.

For small businesses, Rep. Stefanik said concerns over the economy and the ongoing labor shortage have been reflected across the country, and she is now able to highlight those issues nationally and encourage Republicans to consider solutions.

“The same is true with issues related to the northern border,” she said. “We’re raising the profile of that issue, which is a very bipartisan issue, about the need for a consistent and coherent reopening plan from both the Biden administration and the Canadian government.”

Rep. Stefanik said she hadn’t initially anticipated that she would get the opportunity to run for Republican House Conference chairperson. The last member of Congress to hold the conference chair position was Rep. Elizabeth L. “Liz” Cheney, R-Wyo., who lost the confidence of her fellow House Republicans because of her continuous criticism of former President Donald J. Trump and his claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent.

Rep. Stefanik said she saw that message was not working for the Republican membership and was not in line with the Republican Party as it stands today.

“It became increasingly clear that the previous conference chair was not representative of the members of the Republican conference,” she said. “It became clear that members were going to make a change. I decided, if the position opened, I would put my name forward.”

In a vote May 12, Republican members of Congress voted to remove Rep. Cheney from her leadership position. Two days later, on May 14, they voted to install Rep. Stefanik in her place, although it wasn’t without contention.

It was clear Rep. Cheney would be removed from her post for some time before the vote was held, and Rep. Stefanik had begun to pull together support in the days leading up to the leadership vote. Some conservatives in the House began to express concern that Rep. Stefanik’s voting record was not conservative enough. Media reports indicated many members found her record of bipartisanship lacking when compared to the staunchly conservative record of Rep. Cheney.

Heritage Action, a political arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation, gives Rep. Stefanik a 48% lifetime score, indicating she has voted along conservative lines less than half of her time in Congress. Rep. Cheney, on the other hand, has an 80% lifetime score from Heritage Action.

Despite the concerns of conservatives, and with Rep. Charles E. “Chip” Roy, R-Texas, also putting his name in the running, Rep. Stefanik won the leadership vote 134-46.

“The vote was overwhelming, and I had strong support from our Republican membership,” Rep. Stefanik said, explaining that she believes she represents a Republican Party that has expanded its base.

She pointed out that she is the only member of current House Republican leadership to represent a district that flipped from supporting former President Barack H. Obama in 2008 and 2012 to supporting former President Trump in 2016 and 2020. Rep. Stefanik also pointed out that she flipped the district from having a Democrat representing it in Congress when she was first elected in 2014.

“My district tells the story of today’s Republican Party,” Rep. Stefanik said. “It’s one of the swingy-est districts in the nation, and really demonstrates how the Republican Party has expanded their base among the working class.”

She’s also the youngest woman to hold the position of conference chair for either party in Washington, and the first New York Republican to hold a leadership seat in Congress since former Rep. Jack F. Kemp, who represented part of suburban Buffalo and served as House Republican Conference chairperson in the 1980s.

Despite the concerns of some of her colleagues, Rep. Stefanik said she plans to stick with her bipartisan record and will continue to look for ways to work with Democrats to achieve results.

In her work as GOP conference chair specifically, Rep. Stefanik said she has a three-pronged platform.

She said it’s important that House Republicans maintain a clear, unified message on the important issues. In a letter to House Republican members on May 12 asking for their support, Rep. Stefanik said “the media and Socialist Democrats” are working to divide Republicans and discount their positions, and the party must be disciplined to push back against the policies of President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Speaker of the House Nancy P. Pelosi, D-Calif.

“There can be various controversies of the day, but in reality when I talk to voters in my district, and when I talk to my colleagues, a lot of the key concerns are the same,” she said.

Those issues are largely economic, Rep. Stefanik said, including rising energy prices and the ongoing labor shortage, but voters’ concerns also touch on security issues, like the Middle East or the southern border.

Additionally, Rep. Stefanik said she has ensured that representatives have the information they need to speak effectively on the Republican platform.

“This week is the first week of district work since my election as conference chair, and we’re making sure every member has information, policy briefings from all the various committees, so they have that material to share with constituents as they’re doing events in their districts,” she said.

Finally, Rep. Stefanik said she wants to boost the profiles of rank-and-file Republicans in Congress. In her letter last month, she said House Republicans need to shine a spotlight on individual members of Congress, highlight their ideas and present a more varied view of the Republican Party as a whole.

“It’s not just about the elected Republican members of leadership, every member of Congress has an amazing story, and a lot of times those stories are not told in the media,” Rep. Stefanik said. “Whether it’s the glass-ceiling-shattering Class of 2020 with a historic number of Republican women, each of whom have incredible stories, or whether it’s some of our former law enforcement officers.”

When Rep. Stefanik took the leadership role, media reports circulated that suggested she only intended to remain in the position until 2022, at which point she would seek a chair position on the House Education and Labor Committee.

Rep. Stefanik did not definitively say whether she plans to run for a leadership role again after the next election cycle, saying instead that she will wait to judge the situation when the time comes.

“Our hope is that we will win back the majority in Congress, which I think we’re in a good position to do next November as Republicans. I will reassess at that time,” she said. “I think it’s important not to assume two elections ahead of time. I will make a decision every two years, just like I do in this district when I file to run for re-election.”

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(10) comments

She's back

IF Stefink insists on calling all democrats "socialists", I think I will start call Stefink and her similar Trumpian Comrades "FASCISTS". Trumpism has more than a passing reflection of Fascism with his/ their emphasis on Nationalistic and Authoritarian. Most Scholars on Fascism hestat to go quite that far although the Jan insurrection and the attempt to undermine a democratic process has made a few say... YES Trumpism is Facism. Most don't see Trump as capable of any real ideology. AS Roger Griffin puts it, "Trump is too pathologically incoherent and intellectually challenged to be a fascist".

zeitgeist

Alex, why didn't you ask her the tough questions? The provocative questions? The courageous questions? The questions boggling the minds of readers?

She's back

Another predictable word salad from Stefink. She got ALL the the Fox news outrage words in a few sentences.: media, socialism, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer. Did you have your Stefink bingo card ready?

Tell Stefink to stop calling people in her district SOCIALISTS...we might be independents or democrats, we may have even voted for her once before she became radicalized... BUT neither WE nor most of congress ( except maybe 3 ) ARE SOCIALISTS! The scary bogeyman word.

Define it please, and you might find there are lots and lots of people in district 21 who benefit from some existing "socialist" policies such as :

Social security ( all forms), Medicare, FARM Subsidies , Public schools ,Public libraries. All military and veterans Benefits are Tax payer funded ie "socialist " as is our entire miltary complex. And lets not forget that Stefink's own salary of 174,000 is PAID FOR BY OYR TAXES.... talk about redistributing wealth.

Let's make her define that other bogeyman she mentions.... the "media".

That word would have to also include the right wing side of the media such as Fox, and Newsmax, as well as right leaning publications like the National Review. The internet may have more RIGHT Wing talking head shows like Steve Bannon's "War Room" where Stefink made an appearance .

Lastly I find it frightening that her party has to say this "She said it’s important that House Republicans maintain a clear, unified message on the important issues. " WHY??? ad isn't that whole idea of a single party message a bit too like "Communism". Any one who differs from the "party message" must be ostracized, that's scary.

She's back

here A REALTED ARTICLE worth the read for this area;

>>"The US Military Is a Socialist Organization"<<

"Affordable housing and food, tuition assistance, and universal health care are hallmarks of a social welfare system—and life in the armed forces."

By Liesel Kershul"

https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/socialism-united-states-military/

Airball55

Solid article. If she was a democrat she would be hailed as a glass shattered. A high riser. A model for women everywhere. But just reading the disgusting comments here says all we need to know about the far left. Remember, that’s only the far left. Elise has voted with her conscience for her whole career. The numbers prove it. We are lucky to have such representation despite today’s modern cancel culture and attacks on anyone who doesn’t follow the racist and hate spewed by the far far left and far right. In this case...obviously the far left. It’s shameful and again disgusting.

KRobbins

the attempt to kill any investigation of January 6th is as much about trying to memory hole Trump as it is the attack.

Former GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia on Sunday said that if former President Donald Trump went missing, not many Republicans would be "in the search party."

All the little Trumpers in the Republican base don’t seem to realize that those Republicans in Congress want Trump to go away more than Democrats or anyone does. 😢

KRobbins

Rep. Elizabeth L. “Liz” Cheney, R-Wyo., who lost the confidence of her fellow House Republicans because of her continuous criticism of former President Donald J. Trump and his claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent.

Rep. Stefanik said she saw that message was not working for the Republican membership and was not in line with the Republican Party as it stands today.

The only message that matters is undying loyalty to Trump. That’s obvious when you compare Cheney and Stefanik. Not to worry, tho. Elise will say whatever she’s told to say.

Despite presenting a face of undying loyalty to the Diva of MAGA-Lago the attempt to kill any investigation of January 6th is as much about trying to memory hole Trump as it is the attack. Good luck with that. First off, there are going to be investigations. Second, the lawyers for every “tourist” and every domestic terrorist from 1/6 is going to go into court and say their client was there because Dear Leader told them to be.

I used to be sympathetic towards sane people who came from districts represented by the likes of Gohmert, Gosar, Gaetz, Greene, Boebert, Cawthorn, Jordan et al. Now I empathize. It’s so embarrassing to have someone so dishonest and who isn’t even from northern NY. There’s got to be a more honorable Republican somewhere in the district.

minder

She has shown us very clearly who and what se is. And, incomprehensibly, that is apparently A-OK with a majority of the people who live in northern NY state.

hermit thrush

the republican party is rotten to the core.

Joseph Savoca

Stefanik defends the lie that the January 6 insurrection wasn't an insurrection and that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

She is simply parroting the party line that will try to get the Republican party the most power in order to control every aspect of people's lives.

https://www.findlaw.com/criminal/criminal-charges/rebellion-or-insurrection.html

Rebellion and insurrection refer specifically to acts of violence against the state or its officers. This distinguishes the crime from sedition, which is the organized incitement to rebellion or civil disorder against the authority of the state. It also separates the crime from treason, which is the violation of allegiance owed to one's country by betrayal or acting to aid the country's enemies.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insurrection

an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/insurrection

an organized attempt by a group of people to defeat their government and take control of their country, usually by violence

Trump supporters tried to prevent the legal operation of the government, specifically the congressional count of electoral votes for president. Five people died.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/11/us/politics/capitol-riot-police-officer-injuries.html

The Capitol assault resulted in one of the worst days of injuries for law enforcement in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. About 140 officers — 73 from the Capitol Police and 65 from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington — were injured, the departments have said. They ranged from bruises and lacerations to more serious damage such as concussions, rib fractures, burns and even a mild heart attack.

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