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Republicans elect pro-Trump Stefanik to House leadership

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WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 14: U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) (3rd L) speaks to members of the press after an election for House Republican Conference chair as (L-R) House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), and the newly elected House Republican Conference Vice Chair Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) listen at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center May 14, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Rep. Stefanik has won the election and she is replacing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who was ousted after she refused to endorse former President Donald Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was stolen, to be the next Conference chair. Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

US Republicans Friday installed congresswoman Elise Stefanik, an unapologetic defender of Donald Trump, as their new House conference chair, as the party seeks unity amid an explosive debate about its direction.

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“Thank you to my colleagues for electing me to serve as House Republican Conference Chair,” said Stefanik, a 36-year-old former moderate representing upstate New York.

“My focus is on unity,” she told reporters after the vote elevated her to become the House’s number three Republican — and the most powerful Republican woman in Congress.

“The American people know that the stakes are incredibly high,” she said, adding that a top party goal is crafting a coherent message to win back the majority in the House of Representatives.

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“We’re going to fight for (Americans) each and every day against the destructive, radical, far-left socialist agenda of President Joe Biden and (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi that’s destroying America,” she said.

The vote occurred two days after the conference ousted congresswoman Liz Cheney, a conservative stalwart and daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, from the post over her repeated criticism of Trump and her refusal to embrace his false claims of election fraud.

Trump, whose grip on the party has tightened with Stefanik’s elevation, immediately congratulated her for the “overwhelming victory.”

“The House GOP is united and the Make America Great Again movement is Strong!” the former president said.

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Elise StefanikRepublican
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