Thus rewarding someone who will carry the water for Trump’s lies…..
House Republicans on Friday elected Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, a vocal defender of former President Donald J. Trump, as their No. 3 leader, moving swiftly to replace Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who was deposed this week for her refusal to stay silent about the former president’s election lies.
The secret-ballot vote, which unfolded in a basement auditorium at the Capitol, was the culmination of a remarkable campaign by Republicans to purge a vocal critic of Mr. Trump from their ranks, solidifying his grasp on the party and cementing a litmus test for its leaders of unswerving loyalty to the former president.
Ms. Stefanik, 36, who campaigned as a pragmatic moderate when she was elected to Congress in 2014 and has sometimes crossed party lines to vote with Democrats, in recent years has become a strident ally of Mr. Trump. Republican leaders, citing her messaging discipline and fund-raising prowess, had effectively anointed her as Ms. Cheney’s successor even before the Wyoming Republican, a staunch conservative, was voted out of leadership on Wednesday.
On Friday, Ms. Stefanik beat out Representative Chip Roy of Texas, an arch-conservative who had framed his candidacy as a protest against what he called an ill-considered rush by House leaders to install a Republican who did not represent the party’s core values. But she defeated his challenge, by a vote of 134-46.
On the heels of House Republicans’ vote to force Ms. Cheney out of leadership for her refusal to stay quiet about Mr. Trump’s false narrative of a stolen election, Ms. Stefanik’s ascendancy offered a stark contrast. Unlike Ms. Cheney, she voted on Jan. 6 to invalidate electoral votes for President Biden, and in the months since has repeated several of Mr. Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud in the presidential election. She has also endorsed the Arizona election audit, a Republican-led endeavor that critics in both parties have described as a blow to democratic norms and a political embarrassment.
In her first public remarks after the election, Ms. Stefanik pledged to maintain a focus “on unity” as conference chair, and thanked Mr. Trump, who had endorsed her candidacy several times from Mar-a-Lago and cheered her victory in a statement moments after, calling him “a critical part of our Republican team.”….
image…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times