Newly-elected House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has only held her number three House GOP leadership position for a few days, but she’s already generating headlines.
According to Newsmax, Stefanik took issue with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) revised guidance that allows for vaccinated Americans to ditch the face mask, accusing the government organization of announcing the news a political cover to distract from the struggles currently experienced by President Joe Biden’s administration.
What did she say?
Stefanik, during an appearance on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” suggested that the CDC only made the announcement concerning the nixing of face masks for vaccinated people in order to cover for a disastrous week in the Biden administration, including a dismal jobs report and other economic struggles under Biden’s watch.
“The gas prices are the highest that they have been in seven years,” the House leader said. “When you think about one of the worst jobs report in over 20 years, when you think about (how) small businesses are struggling to hire, that guidance or that finding was three months ago, so the CDC was late in putting that out.”
The New York Republican added that “last week was the worst week of Joe Biden’s presidency,” suggesting that the CDC’s timing was not coincidental.
Stefanik also touched on her frustration over Democratic governors who refuse to follow the new guidance, which she suggested is a ridiculous notion given that Democrats have been the pro-CDC guidance party since the beginning of the pandemic.
Adding to that, it wasn’t long ago that Biden slammed Republican governors for not following updated CDC guidance on masks, yet, in the wake of the CDC’s announcement, Biden has remained silent as governors such as New York’s Andrew Cuomo (D) still refused to commit to following the latest guidance.
Stefanik doubles down
The GOP lawmaker wants Republican voters around the country to understand now that Rep. Liz Cheney (D-WY) is no longer an issue, the party is concentrating on uniting as it moves closer to a predicted victory in the 2022 midterm elections.
“Voters want to hear the issues that matter to them,” Stefanik said. “We have an economic crisis, we have an energy crisis, we have a border crisis, and a national security crisis. Republicans are unified. We need to make a change to make sure the American people are hearing issues that matter to their everyday lives.”
Allaying any concerns by some of her conservative colleagues and Republicans around the country that she’s not as supportive of former President Donald Trump’s policies as they’d like her to be, Stefanik made a strong case to the contrary.
“I was the only elected Republican woman from the entire northeast that voted for President Trump, so I supported him from the beginning,” she said.
“I support funding for the wall. I represent Border Patrol agents in my district who are being sent to the southern border. And every time there has been an appropriations bill for the wall, I have voted for that, because I think we have a crisis at the southern border that’s not just impacting our southern states but it’s impacting every community across the nation,” Stefanik added.