House Republicans voted to place Donald Trump loyalist Elise Stefanik in a leadership position, strengthening the former president’s enduring grip on the party more than three months after leaving the White House.
Republican lawmakers voted by secret ballot on Friday morning, just days after ousting Liz Cheney, the daughter of the former vice president and a member of Congress from Wyoming, from the same post for her strident attacks on Trump.
Stefanik, a 36-year-old lawmaker from New York City, triumphed in the race to replace Cheney for the Speaker of the House Republican Conference after a right-wing challenge from Chip Roy, a congressman from Texas who handed in question his conservative credentials.
Stefanik had Trump’s backing for the post, which he reiterated in a statement on the eve of the vote.
“I can’t imagine members of the Republican House would go with Chip Roy – he didn’t do a great job and will likely be successful in his own district. I support Elise from afar on Chip !, ”Trump said.
Stefanik’s rise capped a week of internal drama and strife within the Republican Party. Just before being ousted from the Republican leadership, Cheney launched a meteoric attack on his fellow party members for bowing to Trump and undermining American democracy.
Cheney was among the few Republicans to vote to impeach Trump this year after a mob of his supporters carried out a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan.6.
“I am not going to sit and watch in silence as others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy,” Cheney said.