Conservative: GOP will send wrong message with Stefanik vote

Thursday, May 13, 2021
Chad Groening (

Rep. Stefanik with TrumpA congresswoman described as a moderate Republican is being touted to replace Rep. Liz Cheney for a key post in the House of Representatives but a conservative activist says there are better choices to lead the party.

Citing discussions among GOP leaders, news outlets are reporting Rep. Elise Stefanik (pictured) of New York is expected to head the House Republican Conference after she wins a looming vote by fellow GOP lawmakers. That vote is reportedly coming Friday, May 14.  

Stefanik has announced she is seeking the No. 3 post, and she has been endorsed by Donald Trump and by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, but her voting record is drawing scrutiny from conservative groups as well as conservative colleagues on Capitol Hill.

One News Now reported this week that Stefanik has a low-scoring voting record with groups such as Heritage Action, and Tony Perkins of Family Research Council has said Rep. Stefanik does not represent the direction the Republican Party needs to go after dropping Rep. Cheney. 


According to Rob Chambers, who leads AFA Action, GOP lawmakers would be sending a terrible message to the party’s base by voting for a candidate who voted for the Equality Act and voted against legislation that attempted to ban taxpayer-paid transgender surgeries for military personnel.

Other names for the No. 3 post are being floated, including Rep. Mike Johnson and Rep. Chip Roy, and Chambers says Johnson’s election would show GOP voters that GOP leaders are listening to them. Johnson currently serves as vice chair of the GOP House Conference. 

“If the GOP caucus of the House were to elect someone like Mike Johnson,” Chambers says, “it would clearly show to the grassroots conservatives that they are serious about legislation that is conservative not only socially but also fiscally.”

Regarding the now-ousted Rep. Cheney, veteran conservative activist Gary Bauer says she deserved to go for embracing a political party that answered to Big Business and Wall Street, and forgot its own supporters who are small business owners and working-class employees.

“So she’s completely out of step,” Bauer says, “with the populist conservative Republican Party.”


And as for Stefanik assuming Cheney's spot, the chairman of the Campaign for Working Families takes a pragmatic approach.

"The New York congresswoman – given that she's from New York and has to be a little bit more to the center than, let's say, somebody representing Wyoming – in my view is acceptable," Bauer offers. "She's not going to get in a leadership position and undermine the Republican Party on the main points that matter about economic issues, [about] the use of the American military."

And he doesn't expect Stefanik to argue against those in the GOP who say Trump was good for the party.

"We are in no position to form circular firing squads," Bauer asserts. "We are hanging on by our fingernails. It won't matter if there's some Republican dissenters on social issues. If Joe Biden and Kamala Harris stay in power for seven and a half more years, the battle will be over."

Editor's Note: AFA Action is a division of the American Family Association, the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates


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