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

Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration 13 House Republicans who bucked Trump on emergency declaration House votes to overturn Trump's emergency declaration 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 ScaliseWhy do so many Democrats embrace hate speech? Conservatives wage assault on Mueller report Meadows says Mueller's end proves 'no collusion' 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 McCarthyHouse leaders need to modernize Congress for the sake of America Overnight Energy: McConnell tees up vote on Green New Deal | Centrist Dems pitch alternative to plan | House Republican likens Green New Deal to genocide | Coca-Cola reveals it uses 3M tons of plastic every year House GOP lawmaker says Green New Deal is like genocide MORE (R-Calif.), former House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan Cantor737 crisis tests Boeing's clout in Washington House Republicans find silver lining in minority Top-level turnover sparks questions about Chamber MORE (R-Va.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFormer Dem candidate says he faced cultural barriers on the campaign trail because he is working-class Former House candidate and ex-ironworker says there is 'buyer's remorse' for Trump in Midwest Head of top hedge fund association to step down 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 EmmerProgressive demands put new pressures on Democrats Schultz recruiting GOP insiders ahead of possible 2020 bid Elise Stefanik seeks to tackle GOP’s women ‘crisis’ ahead of 2020 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.