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

Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikRepublican lawmakers ask Trump not to delay Pentagon cloud-computing contract Rising number of GOP lawmakers criticize Trump remarks about minority Dems Overnight Defense: Woman accusing general of sexual assault willing to testify | Joint Chiefs pick warns against early Afghan withdrawal | Tensions rise after Iran tries to block British tanker 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 ScaliseThe Memo: Fears of violence grow amid Trump race storm Democrats call for increased security after 'send her back' chants Democratic strategist on Trump tweets: 'He's feeding this fear and hate' 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 McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants History in the House: Congress weathers unprecedented week EU official in Canada says he feels 'at home' there because no one was shouting 'send him back' MORE (R-Calif.), former House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorGOP faces tough battle to become 'party of health care' 737 crisis tests Boeing's clout in Washington House Republicans find silver lining in minority MORE (R-Va.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report Ocasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller 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 EmmerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants GOP rattled by Trump rally 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.