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

Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikOvernight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill Lawmakers press IRS to get coronavirus checks to seniors Hispanic Caucus campaign arm unveils non-Hispanic endorsements 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 ScaliseTop GOP lawmakers push back on need for special oversight committee for coronavirus aid Pelosi forms House committee to oversee coronavirus response Pelosi scrambles to secure quick passage of coronavirus aid 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 Owen McCarthyPelosi, McConnell clash over next coronavirus bill Pelosi scales back coronavirus infrastructure proposal Democrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots MORE (R-Calif.), former House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorThe Democrats' strategy conundrum: a 'movement' or a coalition? The biggest political upsets of the decade Bottom Line MORE (R-Va.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy 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 Democratic campaign arm outraises GOP counterpart in February How campaigns are adapting to coronavirus Dems unlikely to subpoena Bolton 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.