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

Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikWomen of both parties must seize the momentum A louder voice for women everywhere Democrats lead in diversity in new Congress despite GOP gains 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 ScaliseRichmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' New RSC chairman sees 'Trumpism' as future Cheney seeks to cool tensions with House conservatives 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 McCarthyRichmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' Sunday shows preview: Biden transition, COVID-19 spike in spotlight Drastic cuts proposed to Medicare would hurt health care quality MORE (R-Calif.), former House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorSpanberger's GOP challenger raises over .8 million in third quarter The Hill's Campaign Report: Florida hangs in the balance Eric Cantor teams up with former rival Dave Brat in supporting GOP candidate in former district MORE (R-Va.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBottom line Democratic anger rises over Trump obstacles to Biden transition Feehery: A possible House Speaker conundrum for Democrats 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 EmmerA louder voice for women everywhere GOP sees path to House majority in 2022 House GOP votes to keep leaders in place 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.