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Stefanik: GOP leaders need to step up their female recruitment efforts

Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikCuomo asks New York AG to appoint independent attorney to investigate sexual harassment claims Psaki: Cuomo should face 'independent review' over sexual harassment allegations NY billboard calls for Cuomo's impeachment amid controversies MORE (R-N.Y.) said Tuesday that GOP leadership needs to “put their money where their mouth is” if they are serious about diversifying the conference and getting more women elected.

She said that while it was encouraging that House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC Merrick Garland is right to prioritize domestic terrorism, but he'll need a bigger boat Why Congress must invoke the 14th Amendment now MORE (R-La.) announced support of her efforts to boost the number of Republican women in Congress, lawmakers need to ensure that other GOP leaders are committed to diversity.

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Stefanik recently said she plans to use her PAC to help female candidates succeed in primaries, drawing pushback from some GOP colleagues. The New York Republican said she will model her efforts after the Young Guns initiative — started by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthySome Republicans say proxy voting gives advantage to Democrats Wray says no evidence of 'antifa' involvement in Jan. 6 attack Republican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC MORE (R-Calif.), former House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorConservative House Republican welcomes Clark as chief of US Chamber Former House GOP leader: Fear of telling 'truth' to voters led to Capitol riot Biden faces tall order in uniting polarized nation MORE (R-Va.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBoehner book jacket teases slams against Cruz, Trump CPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be Cruz hires Trump campaign press aide as communications director MORE (R-Wis.) in 2007 — that used a metric-based system to develop "top-tier candidates" and help them meet fundraising goals.

“We need to have that for women and we need to ensure that our leadership is putting their money where their mouth is,” she said Tuesday at Politico's Women Rule Summit. “If they care about what the future, not just of the Republican Conference but of Congress as a whole, looks like and that it's more reflective, we need to ensure that they are investing in those women early.”

Stefanik’s comments follow a spat with Rep. Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerHouse panel spars over GameStop frenzy, trading apps The Hill's Morning Report - Biden on COVID-19: Next year Americans will be 'better off' NRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized MORE (R-Minn.), the newly elected chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), after Emmer told Roll Call it would be a “mistake” for Stefanik to intervene in primaries during the next election cycle. Stefanik, in turn, tweeted, that she “wasn’t asking for permission.”

“I will not ask for permission,” she said at Tuesday’s event. “Tom is smart; he has changed his tune since then.”

Stefanik helped lead the NRCC’s female recruitment efforts during the midterm election cycle. Despite recruiting a record number of GOP women to run, there will be just 13 Republican women serving in the 116th Congress, down from 23 in the current Congress.