House Republicans voted on Friday to elevate Rep. Elise Stefanik to the No. 3 leadership position of conference chair after ousting Rep. Liz Cheney from the role because she repeatedly called out former President Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen.
Stefanik, a high-profile Trump defender, faced a conservative challenger — GOP Rep. Chip Roy — but his candidacy was viewed as a long-shot, and the New York congresswoman had the backing of House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Trump. The final result was 134 votes for Stefanik and 46 for Roy, according to multiple sources in the room. The congresswoman said in a statement after the vote that she is “honored and humbled” to be elected to the leadership post. “House Republicans are united in our focus to fight on behalf of the American people to save our country from the radical Socialist Democrat agenda,” she said.
Stefanik’s rise within the ranks of House GOP leadership and Cheney’s removal starkly underscores the Republican Party’s entrenched loyalty to the former President and the limited extent to which it is willing to tolerate dissent even after Trump’s election lies incited a deadly attack on the US Capitol on January 6. Aides close to the race also told CNN that Stefanik’s quick rise was a emblematic of the congresswoman’s own ambitions. “She just outhustled everyone,” one senior GOP aide told CNN.