Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) reportedly boasts a higher lifetime conservative rating than Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the newly elected No. 3 House Republican.
What are the details?
According to conservative PAC Club for Growth, which rates every member of Congress, Omar has a 38% lifetime conservative rating, while the group gives Stefanik a lifetime rating of just 35%.
Stefanik was elected as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference last week after House Republicans voted to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for continuing to criticize former President Donald Trump, blaming him for the deadly violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Club for Growth opposed Stefanik’s push to join GOP leadership, instead endorsing Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who boasts a 100% lifetime conservative rating from Club for Growth.
David McIntosh, president of Club for Growth, said:
Club for Growth urges conservatives to support Rep. Chip Roy to become the next U.S. House Republican Conference Chair. The choice is simple — Roy is a proven and principled conservative while Rep. Elise Stefanik has a long record that includes supporting big government spending and opposing Trump’s tax cuts. It’s time for a real conservative with a record like Roy’s to serve in leadership to fight Biden and the socialist Democrats and take back the House in 2022.
Roy, who ran by contrasting his conservative voting record with Stefanik’s moderate voting record, ultimately lost in a 134-46 secret-ballot vote.
Prior to the vote on Thursday, Trump released a statement endorsing Stefanik over Roy, and claimed Roy “will probably be successfully primaried in his own district.”
Stefanik similarly has a 43% lifetime conservative rating from the American Conservative Union and a 48% lifetime score from Heritage Action. Roy’s score is more than double Stefanik’s on both scorecards.
What are the implications?
Writing in National Review, Andrew McCarthy explained the Republican Party, in ousting Cheney and elevating Stefanik, has now placed loyalty to Trump ahead of actual conservative values.
“So here is the problem. The conservative accommodation with President Trump was that, despite misgivings (not only about his character but about his historical Democratic leanings), you supported him because he campaigned on conservative objectives. The rationalization was that even if you could not be confident that he’d deliver on his promises, you knew the alternative — progressive Democrats — would be a catastrophe for the country,” McCarthy wrote.
“The idea was that Trump’s political fortunes were tied to the advancement of conservative policies. With Stefanik, in stark contrast, the Republican establishment has now elevated Trump loyalty at the expense of conservative objectives. That is not a good deal,” he explained.
Cheney, on the other hand, “is a committed conservative,” McCarthy wrote.