Even as she was allying herself with Mr. Trump, Ms. Stefanik was enjoying a main position in countering his impact on the Republican Party, which misplaced its House majority that yr partially as a result of suburban girls have been alienated by him. She started an intensive drive to recruit and elect extra G.O.P. girls, elevating big sums for the job.
But by the following yr, with Mr. Trump dealing with his first impeachment, Ms. Stefanik made it clear she was not reluctant to be related to him. The starkest indication of her shift got here throughout his hearings and subsequent Senate trial, when the New York Republican served as certainly one of the former president’s defenders.
House Republicans voted on May 12 to oust Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming from their management ranks for her refusal to remain quiet about President Donald J. Trump’s election lies.
- Backlash to Impeachment Vote: In January, Ms. Cheney issued a stinging statement saying that she would vote to question Mr. Trump. In the assertion, which drove a fissure via her celebration, she mentioned that there had “never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States” than Mr. Trump’s incitement of a mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. She was amongst 10 Republicans who voted to question him. A gaggle of Mr. Trump’s most strident allies in the House known as on her to resign from her management publish.
- Leadership Challenge: In February, Ms. Cheney fended off a problem to strip her of her management place in a secret poll vote. Even as a majority of House Republicans opposed impeaching Mr. Trump, most weren’t ready to punish certainly one of their high leaders for doing so — at the very least not underneath a blanket of anonymity.
- Censure: Ms. Cheney additionally confronted opposition from the Wyoming Republican Party, which censured her and demanded she resign. Ms. Cheney rejected these calls and urged Republicans to be “the party of truth.”
- New Challenge: Ms. Cheney continued her blunt condemnation of Mr. Trump and her celebration’s position in spreading the false election claims that impressed the Jan. 6 assault, prompting a new push to oust her from her management position. This time, the effort was backed by Representative Kevin McCarthy, the minority chief.
- Removal: Ms. Cheney framed her expulsion as a turning level for her celebration and declared in a unprecedented speech that she wouldn’t sit by quietly as Republicans deserted the rule of legislation. She embraced her downfall and supplied herself as a cautionary story in what she is portraying as a battle for the soul of the Republican Party. The elimination got here by voice vote throughout a transient however raucous closed-door assembly in an auditorium on Capitol Hill.
- Impact and Analysis: What started as a battle over the celebration’s future after the violent finish to the Trump presidency has collapsed into a one-sided pile-on by Team Trump towards critics like Ms. Cheney, a scion of a storied Republican household. The episode, a exceptional takedown that mirrored the celebration’s intolerance for dissent and loyal fealty to the former president, has known as consideration to inside celebration divisions between extra mainstream and conservative factions about tips on how to win again the House in 2022.
- Successor: On May 14, House Republicans elected Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, a vocal defender of Mr. Trump, as their No. 3 chief. Ms. Stefanik pledged to take care of a focus “on unity” as convention chair, however she has additionally drawn criticism from some hard-right Republicans who’ve questioned her conservative bona fides.
Her combative tone and willingness to lean into the proceedings as a partisan brawler catapulted her into the limelight, drawing widespread reward from conservatives on social media and attracting the consideration of Mr. Trump, who anointed her a “new Republican star.” The consideration additionally led to a vital surge in marketing campaign donations, permitting Ms. Stefanik to construct a record of over 200,000 small-dollar donors, in accordance with her aides.
Her efficiency additionally received over a few of the ultraconservative members she had earlier disdained. Representative Lee Zeldin, a New York Republican who served with Ms. Stefanik as an impeachment defender, recalled in an interview how she had rigorously ready her questioning behind the scenes, and praised how she had calibrated her fierce tone to the proceedings.
“When you’re talking about a bipartisan veterans’ bill that everybody’s going to agree with, you can have a press conference and everybody’s getting along and working together,” Mr. Zeldin mentioned, referring to Ms. Stefanik’s earlier inclination to work throughout the aisle. “But when you’re talking about impeachment of a sitting president of the United States, it’s different.”
It was these performances and her effort to elect extra Republican girls to Congress — which bore fruit final yr — that impressed celebration leaders, led by Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority chief, to faucet Ms. Stefanik as they appeared to dethrone Ms. Cheney.
“We need to be united, and that starts with leadership,” Mr. McCarthy mentioned.
Capitalizing on the newfound swell of help from conservatives and the backing of a variety of outstanding freshmen congresswomen whom she helped elect, Ms. Stefanik turned her consideration to bolstering her credentials with some hard-right members who have been nonetheless skeptical of her.