Rep. Chip Roy on Friday congratulated Rep. Elise Stefanik for winning the election to be House Republicans’ new conference chair and said it is time for the party to “move forward” in its battles against Democrats.
Roy, R-Ariz., was always an extreme longshot to win the conference chair position. He announced his intention to run for the third-ranking post in the House Republican Conference this week only after members had already ousted Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., for her repeated condemnations of former President Trump.
By that time, Stefanik, R-N.Y., was backed by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and perhaps most notably Trump himself.
“I extend my sincere congratulations to my friend and colleague, Elise Stefanik,” Roy said in a statement. “As I said from the beginning, our goal was to provide an alternative with a proven record of standing up not for politicians — but for freedom, the Constitution, and the conservative principles Americans hold dear.”
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He continued: “I am glad that we did, because it demonstrates a large block of our colleagues across the ideological spectrum agree. I also want to thank the countless conservative organizations and individuals who backed our effort; the amount of support we have received in less than 24 hours has been incredibly humbling.”
Roy ran in part because Stefanik has one of the most moderate voting records among House Republicans. She voted with Trump less often than Cheney and had lower scores from the American Conservative Union and Heritage Action for her votes.
This drew concern from some parts of the GOP that she would not properly represent the conference. But Stefanik’s vocal backing of Trump during both of his impeachments and even after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, as well as her fundraising prowess on behalf of other Republicans, allowed her to get widespread support.
“Now that the conference has made its decision, it’s time for us to move forward with a vision and a plan to fight for the forgotten men and women of this country, their way of life, and the principles — built upon the bedrock of freedom — that have made it great,” Roy added Friday.
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“We have no more time for either beltway theatrics, half-hearted empty promises, and tepid appeasement of people who want to remake America in the image of failed social welfare states,” he said.
Stefanik said she is “truly honored and humbled” by the fact her colleagues supported her for her new post Friday.
“I know we are all here to serve the people, the voters who place their trust and faith in us. You have put yours in me to serve this Conference and I will never lose sight of that. I will always work my very hardest to earn your trust every day,” she said. “”This will not be an easy job, but I know we are stronger when united as a team.”
Democrats, meanwhile, said Stefanik’s election as House Republican Conference chair amounted to a black eye for Republicans, who booted Cheney fundamentally for her repeated condemnations of Trump’s false claims the presidential election was stolen.
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“Elise Stefanik’s win today makes clear there is no place for truth in today’s Republican Party,” Adonna Biel, a DNC spokesperson, told Fox News. “While the Republican Party has completed its transformation to the party of Donald Trump, President Biden and Democrats are delivering for Americans, rebuilding after the pandemic, and getting us back on track.”