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Stefanik shake-up jump-starts early jockeying for committee posts

Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikRecovering America through the lens of wildlife Former Trump aide eyeing New Hampshire congressional bid GOP's attacks on Fauci at center of pandemic message MORE (R-N.Y.) is signaling she may only serve as GOP Conference chair for the next year and a half, then leave the job to run to lead the Education and Labor Committee. 

But to execute that plan, the ambitious 36-year-old millennial congresswoman would have to leapfrog over several colleagues with more seniority. While Rep. Joe WilsonAddison (Joe) Graves WilsonAll House Republicans back effort to force floor vote on 'born alive' bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Masks off: CDC greenlights return to normal for vaccinated Americans Stefanik shake-up jump-starts early jockeying for committee posts MORE (R-S.C.) told The Hill that Stefanik has his full-throated endorsement to lead the education panel, at least two other more senior GOP members — Reps. Tim WalbergTimothy (Tim) Lee WalbergThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Masks off: CDC greenlights return to normal for vaccinated Americans Stefanik shake-up jump-starts early jockeying for committee posts Greene sounds off on GOP after Hill story MORE (Mich.) and Glenn GrothmanGlenn S. GrothmanThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Masks off: CDC greenlights return to normal for vaccinated Americans Stefanik shake-up jump-starts early jockeying for committee posts Political fireworks fuel DC statehood hearing MORE (Wis.) — say they may put up a fight. 

“I love that committee. I’ve been chairman of two subcommittees, so we would certainly have to look at it,” Walberg, 70, told The Hill. “I don’t know if she’s running for it either. … I’m more senior, you bet I am. And we’ve taken tougher votes.”

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Grothman seemed less bullish about launching a bid for the top spot on the panel but said it’s too soon to rule it out.

“Education is going to be a very important committee in the future because of the leftward tilt of the universities and K-12, and it’s going to be very interesting who the chairman is,” Grothman, 65, told The Hill. 

“I won’t close the door,” he said, “but it’s a long way off.”

The current top Republican on the Education committee, Rep. Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann FoxxHouse GOP fights back against mask, metal detector fines Sixth House member issued ,000 security screening fine House Ethics panel to drop K metal detector fines against Clyburn, Rogers MORE (N.C.), will not be allowed to serve in that role next Congress due to term limits imposed by the GOP conference. Wilson is the second most senior member, followed by Rep. Glenn ThompsonGlenn (G.T.) W. ThompsonStefanik shake-up jump-starts early jockeying for committee posts READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Business groups scramble to forge ties amid race for House Agriculture chair MORE (R-Pa.), who is already the ranking member on the Agriculture Committee. Next in line are Walberg (fourth), Grothman (fifth), Stefanik (sixth), and Reps. Rick AllenRichard (Rick) Wayne AllenStefanik shake-up jump-starts early jockeying for committee posts Capitol Police investigate report Maryland GOP Rep. Andy Harris tried to bring gun on House floor Georgia elections chief refutes election claims in letter to Congress MORE (R-Ga.) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.). 

To be certain, the race for the top job on the Education committee won’t happen anytime soon. The influential GOP Steering Committee, led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyPelosi, leaders seek to squelch Omar controversy with rare joint statement Omar: I wasn't equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries Schumer bemoans number of Republicans who believe Trump will be reinstated: 'A glaring warning' MORE (R-Calif.), would not meet to vote on candidates to lead committees in the next Congress until after the 2022 midterm elections.

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But Stefanik’s high-profile bid to replace Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyNew Israeli government should be a teaching moment for global leadership Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' House Democrats to Schumer: Vote again on Jan. 6 probe MORE (R-Wyo.) as GOP Conference chair has raised questions about whether she plans to keep climbing the leadership ladder or if this is simply a short-term stint and stepping stone to a top committee post. 

House Republicans are expected to vote Friday to elect Stefanik to the No. 3 leadership post just two days after ousting Cheney. Stefanik is running unopposed and has been endorsed by former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden prepares to confront Putin Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting Senate investigation of insurrection falls short MORE, McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseWisconsin state lawmaker compares museum mask policy to Nazi Party Overnight Health Care: Public option plan left out of Biden budget proposal | House Republicans demand congressional probe into COVID-19 origin | Half the total US population have received at least one vaccine dose House Republicans demand congressional probe into COVID-19 origin MORE (R-La.) and top conservative leader Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanThe tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Sunday shows preview: Biden foreign policy in focus as Dem tensions boil up back home House Judiciary releases McGahn testimony on Trump MORE (R-Ohio), who worked with Stefanik when they defended Trump during his first impeachment.  

"I think she'll do a fine job" in leadership, Jordan told The Hill. "She's got the support of the president, she's got the support of the leader. She was a great communicator and did a great job during impeachment."

Politico reported that Stefanik has privately told colleagues that she only intends to stay in the job through the end of 2022.

Colleagues on the panel say she has long desired for a top post on the panel, and with Republicans just a handful of seats away from winning back the majority next year, the chairman’s gavel could be within reach for Stefanik. 

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In interviews with reporters this week, Stefanik did not commit to stepping down from the No. 3 leadership job after this term but she made clear that she will be focused on her committee work in the future. 

Stefanik also serves on the Intelligence Committee, and McCarthy has the option of appointing her as the top Republican on Intelligence should Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesCNN reporter's phone and email records secretly obtained by Trump administration: report Hillicon Valley: Colonial Pipeline CEO says company paid hackers .4 million in ransomware attack | Facebook sets up 'special operations center' for content on Israeli-Palestinian conflict | Granholm expresses openness to pipeline cyber standards after Peter Thiel, J.D. Vance investing in YouTube alternative popular among conservatives MORE (R-Calif.) run for the top job on the powerful, tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.       

“My long-term plan had always been for committees and I'm still obviously an active member and very passionate about committees,” Stefanik said. 

If Republicans do take back the House next year, Stefanik would have even more options since the GOP would then have four top leadership openings: Speaker, majority leader, majority whip and GOP Conference chair. She could move up to become whip, the party’s chief vote counter, or stay put in what would be the No. 4 spot as conference chair.  

While Stefanik, elected in 2014, is more junior than some of the other prospective Education panel leaders, she’d certainly be the favorite to win. Stefanik is close to McCarthy and serves on the same Steering Committee that will pick the next top Republican on Education. She’s also helped recruit and raise money for female candidates through her super PAC called E-PAC.

There also would be a desire by many Republicans to fill Foxx’s vacancy with a woman, given that just four of the 21 major House committees are led by GOP women: Foxx; Rep. Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerProgressives nearly tank House Democrats' Capitol security bill House narrowly approves .9B Capitol security bill after 'squad' drama GOP urges members to vote against Capitol security bill MORE (R-Texas) on Appropriations; Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersNew Alzheimer's drug sparks backlash over FDA, pricing FDA approves first new Alzheimer's drug in almost 20 years OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden suspends Arctic oil leases issued under Trump |  Experts warn US needs to better prepare for hurricane season | Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps MORE (R-Wash.) on Energy and Commerce; and Rep. Jackie WalorskiJacqueline (Jackie) R. WalorskiStefanik shake-up jump-starts early jockeying for committee posts Loyalty trumps policy in Stefanik's rise, Cheney's fall Trump backs Stefanik to replace Cheney MORE (R-Ind.) on Ethics.

Based on seniority, Wilson would be in line to be the next top Republican on Education, but he said he’s more interested in leading either the Armed Services or Foreign Affairs committees in the future.  

“In terms of my interest in Congress, it’s Armed Services and Foreign Affairs, and so I would be very supportive of Elise,” Wilson said.

Told that his buddy, Walberg, also might run for the job, Wilson didn’t skip a beat: “I would be very supportive of Elise.”

“She and I have worked together over the years to the point I went to her wedding three years ago in upstate New York, so we are close,” Wilson continued. “I’m happy for her success.”