Who is Elise Stefanik, the congresswoman Trump and Scalise want to replace Liz Cheney in GOP leadership?

World News

WASHINGTON – After holding the position as the third-ranking House Republican for nearly three years, it is becoming clearer Rep. Liz Cheney’s leadership role may be at risk as prominent Republicans line up against her for criticizing former President Donald Trump. 

The person emerging as a potential replacement for the Wyoming Republican is Rep. Elise Stefanik, a New York Republican who in the last years of the Trump administration emerged as a loyal and vocal defender of the 45th president. 

Stefanik, 36, now has the backing of the second most powerful House Republican, Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., and Trump. 

Meanwhile, Cheney is under mounting criticism and scorn from Republicans over her statements regarding the former president. On Monday, she called his election fraud claim a “big lie.”

Though an attempt to remove Cheney from her leadership post failed in February after she voted to impeach Trump, her recent comments on Trump’s election fraud claims have led to a fresh wave of criticism.

In February, GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., defended the Wyoming congresswoman but now says the conference is losing confidence in her.

“I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message,” he told Fox News on Tuesday. “We all need to be working as one if we’re able to win the majority.”

Trump issued a statement Wednesday through his Save America PAC in which he slammed Cheney as a “warmongering fool who has no business in Republican Party Leadership,” and threw his support behind Stefanik.

“We want leaders who believe in the Make America Great Again movement, and prioritize the values of America First,” the former president said. He continued, “Stefanik is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL Endorsement for GOP Conference Chair. Elise is a tough and smart communicator!” 

Who is the New York congresswoman? Here’s what you need to know about the Stefanik: 

One of the youngest lawmakers elected

Stefanik, when she was elected in 2014 at age 30, was then the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

That title has since gone to fellow New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who was elected during the 2018 midterms.

Stefanik wrote a USA TODAY op-ed in 2019 with advice for both Ocasio-Cortez and former Rep. Abby Finkenauer, the one-term Iowa Democrat who turned 30 a week before she was sworn in in 2019.

She told them to “understand that along with this record is the responsibility to encourage younger women to seek office and have the courage to step into the arena.”  

If Stefanik is successful in replacing Cheney, she would be the first millennial and one of the few women to hold the position.

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