Sun. Jun 20th, 2021

Rep. Elise Stefanik on Wednesday formally moved ahead with a bid for the No. 3 leadership position in the House Republican conference with a letter to fellow lawmakers outlining her plans for the conference chair post. 

Stefanik’s letter came soon after Republican lawmakers voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney from the conference chair job as she continues to criticize former President Donald Trump and his false claims surrounding the 2020 election. 

Stefanik has been a prominent and vocal support of the president during his two impeachment trials and on Wednesday outlined a strategy that focuses on a unified message for the party going into the 2022 midterm elections as Republicans hope to recapture a majority in the chamber. 

“The media and Socialist Democrats will attempt to divide us,” she wrote in the letter. “We will not take the bait; our message must be disciplined to offensively prosecute the disastrous and destructive Biden and Pelosi agenda.”

Stefanik pledged a communications strategy that will Republicans “on offense every single day.”

“Americans are yearning for a conservative vision; we must communicate that message clearly, consistently, and continuously,” she wrote. 

Stefanik has also lined up support from her fellow Republicans in the New York House delegation. Rep. Chris Jacobs of Western New York as well as Rep. John Katko of the Syracuse area have signaled their support for her leadership bid. 

“I’m proud to support my friend and colleague @RepStefanik for Conference Chair,” Jacobs posted to Twitter on Wednesday. “I look forward to working with her to fight partisan spending and tax increases, rebuild our economy, and combatting the socialist agenda of the President and Democrats in Congress.”

A voice of apparent dissent, however, was Rep. Tom Reed, who is not running for re-election next year after acknowledging a sexual harassment complaint leveled against him earlier this year. In a statement after the conference’s vote to eject Cheney from leadership, Reed said he would “defer to its collective wisdom.”

“The world is on fire – our own citizens are killing each other in our streets, our country is divided as it has never been before, the U.S. dollar is likely losing its reserve status, and our nation has lost control of the global supply chain,” he said. “With these things weighing heavily on my mind, I intend to describe myself and priority going forward as ‘American.'”