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Elise Stefanik

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Elise Stefanik
Elise Stefanik, 115th official photo.jpg
Chair of the House Republican Conference
Assumed office
May 14, 2021
DeputyMike Johnson
LeaderKevin McCarthy
Preceded byLiz Cheney
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 21st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byBill Owens
Personal details
Born
Elise Marie Stefanik

(1984-07-02) July 2, 1984 (age 37)
Albany, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Matthew Manda
(m. 2017)
EducationHarvard University (BA)
Signature
WebsiteHouse website

Elise Marie Stefanik (/stəˈfɑːnɪk/; born July 2, 1984) is an American businesswoman and politician serving as the U.S. representative for New York's 21st congressional district since 2015. As chair of the House Republican Conference since 2021, she is the third-ranking House Republican.

A member of the Republican Party, Stefanik's district covers most of the North Country, as well as most of the Adirondacks. It also includes some of the outer suburbs of Utica and the Capital District. Upon her first House election in 2014, Stefanik, aged 30, became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Initially elected as a moderate, Stefanik later moved farther to the right and became a strong supporter of President Donald Trump, prominently defending him during his 2019 impeachment amid the Trump–Ukraine scandal. She supported Trump following his attempts to overturn the 2020 election and objected to Pennsylvania's electoral votes following the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Stefanik was elected chair of the House Republican Conference in May 2021 after incumbent Liz Cheney was removed.

Early life and education

Elise Marie Stefanik was born in Albany, New York, on July 2, 1984,[1] to Melanie and Ken Stefanik.[2] Her parents own Premium Plywood Products, a wholesale plywood distributor based in Guilderland Center.[3] She is of Czech and Italian descent,[4] and is a Roman Catholic.[1]

In October 1998, when she was 14, Stefanik was featured in a Times Union profile about U.S. Senator Al D'Amato. In the article she is quoted saying, "I support the Republican view, especially his".[5] Stefanik first considered a career in public service and policy in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.[6]

Stefanik graduated from the Albany Academy for Girls and enrolled at Harvard College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government in 2006.[7][8] She was elected vice president of the Harvard Institute of Politics in 2004.[9] At Harvard, she received an honorable mention for the Women's Leadership Award.[10]

Early career

After graduating from Harvard, she joined the Bush administration,[11] working as staff for the Domestic Policy Council.[12] Stefanik later worked in the office of the White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten.[12] In 2009, she founded the blog American Maggie, named after British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, providing a platform for "conservative and Republican women" to promote their views on politics and policy.[9]

She helped prepare the Republican platform in 2012, served as director of new media for Tim Pawlenty's presidential exploratory committee and worked at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Foreign Policy Initiative.[13] Stefanik managed Representative Paul Ryan's debate preparation for the 2012 presidential debates.[11][14] After Romney and Ryan lost the 2012 presidential election, she returned to upstate New York and joined her parents' business.[14]

After the 2012 election, Stefanik bought a home in Willsboro, a suburb of Plattsburgh; her parents had owned a vacation home in Willsboro for many years.[15][16] By April 2014, she owned a minority interest in a townhouse near Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C., valued at $1.3 million.[17] On August 19, 2017, in Saratoga Springs, Stefanik married Matthew Manda, who works in marketing and communications.[18] In December 2018, Stefanik and Manda moved to Schuylerville, a suburb of the Capital District.[19]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2014

Stefanik's freshman portrait during the 114th Congress
Stefanik's freshman portrait during the 114th Congress

In August 2013, Stefanik declared her candidacy in the 2014 election for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York's 21st congressional district.[20] The district had been in Republican hands for 100 years, before Democrat Bill Owens was elected to represent it in a 2009 special election.[21] In January 2014, Owens announced that he would not seek reelection.[22] Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party nominee in 2009, endorsed Stefanik.[6]

Stefanik defeated Matt Doheny in the 2014 Republican primary election, 61 to 39 percent.[23] She faced Aaron Woolf, the Democratic Party nominee, and Matt Funiciello, the Green Party nominee, in the November 4 general election.[11] Stefanik won with 55 percent of the vote to their 34 and 11 percent, respectively. At age 30, she became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at the time.[14]

2016

Stefanik ran for reelection in 2016. Stefanik supported Donald Trump for president after he won the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries, gradually becoming more open in her support as the campaign continued.[24][25] She said his comments featured in the Access Hollywood tape were "wrong" but did not withdraw her endorsement of him.[26]

Stefanik faced Democratic nominee Mike Derrick and Green Party nominee Matt Funiciello in the general election.[27][28] She won with 66 percent of the vote to Derrick's 29 percent and Funiciello's 5 percent.[29]

2018

In 2017, former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton endorsed Stefanik for reelection, lauding her work on the House Armed Services Committee.[30]

She was reelected with 56 percent of the vote to Democratic nominee Tedra Cobb's 42 percent and Green Party nominee Lynn Kahn's 1.5 percent.[31]

2020

Stefanik defeated Cobb again with 59 percent of the vote to Cobb's 41 percent.[32]

Tenure

Stefanik takes the oath of office by House Speaker John Boehner in January 2015
Stefanik takes the oath of office by House Speaker John Boehner in January 2015

In January 2015, Stefanik was appointed to the House Armed Services Committee.[33] The freshman representatives of the 114th Congress elected her to serve as the Freshman Representative to the Policy Committee.[34] In February 2015, she was appointed vice chair of the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Readiness.[35] She was invited to join the Senior Advisory Committee at the Harvard Institute of Politics shortly after her election.[9] She was removed from the committee in 2021 following her objection to Pennsylvania's electoral votes after the storming of the U.S. Capitol.[36][37][38][39]

On January 11, 2017, Stefanik announced that she had been elected co-chair of the Tuesday Group,[40] "a caucus of ... moderate House Republicans from across the country".[41]

Stefanik led recruitment for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) in the 2018 House elections; among 13 Republican women elected to the House, only one was newly elected.[42] In December 2018, Stefanik announced she would leave the NRCC to create a "leadership PAC" dedicated to recruiting Republican women to run for office.[43][44][45] This group, named Elevate PAC (E-PAC), announced in an October 22 press conference that it had partially funded the primary campaigns of 11 Republican women from various states.[46] In the 2020 House elections, 18 of the 30 women endorsed by Stefanik's E-PAC were elected.[47]

On May 19, 2021, Stefanik and all other House Republican leaders voted against establishing a January 6 commission. 35 Republican House members and all 217 Democrats present voted to establish such a commission.[48]

Committee assignments

Stefanik's committee assignments include:[49]

Party leadership campaign

In early 2021, after House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney supported Trump's second impeachment and refuted his claims that the election was stolen from him, some Republicans in Congress who supported Trump called for her removal. Stefanik was seen as a potential replacement for Cheney in case the Republican conference decided to oust Cheney from her position, despite Cheney's more conservative credentials and greater voting record in support of Trump's policies.[50][51][52] On May 5, Stefanik received the endorsement of Trump and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise to replace Cheney as conference chair.[53] During a May 6 appearance on a podcast hosted by Steve Bannon, Stefanik repeatedly emphasized the need for the Republican Party to work with Trump.[54] Representative Chip Roy challenged Stefanik from the right in a bid to replace Cheney, but was denounced by Trump, who reiterated his endorsement of Stefanik.[55][56] On May 14, Stefanik was elected as House Republican Conference chair.[57] After her victory, Stefanik thanked Trump, saying, "President Trump is the leader that [Republican voters] look to".[58]

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Stefanik was ranked the 19th-most bipartisan House member during the first session of the 115th United States Congress by the Bipartisan Index.[63][64] The conservative advocacy group Heritage Action gave her a lifetime score of 48 percent but an 84 percent score since the 117th Congress began in January 2021, compared to an average of 95 percent among House Republicans during that session.[65] The American Conservative Union gave Stefanik a lifetime rating of 44 percent.[66] The conservative Club for Growth gave her a lifetime rating of 35 percent, lower than Squad member Ilhan Omar.[58]

Abortion

Stefanik is pro-life, but says the GOP should be more understanding of other positions on the issue.[67][68] She opposes taxpayer funding for abortion, and supports requiring that health insurance plans disclose whether they cover abortion.[69] In 2019, The National Right to Life Committee, a political action committee (PAC) opposed to legal abortion, gave Stefanik a 71 percent pro-life rating, and NARAL Pro-Choice America, a PAC that supports legal abortion, gave her a 28 percent pro-choice rating.[70] She joined her party in supporting H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act of 2017.[71]

Economy

Stefanik voted in favor of the Keystone Pipeline.[72] She opposed the 2013 sequestration cuts to the federal U.S. military budget, citing its effect on Fort Drum just north of Watertown, New York, part of her district.[72]

Stefanik voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, joining five other New York Republican representatives.[73] Her primary reason for voting against the law was its changes to the state and local tax deduction "that so many in our district and across New York rely on".[74] Stefanik also criticized "Albany's failed leadership and inability to rein in spending". She said, "New York is one of the highest taxed states in the country, and families here rely on this important deduction to make ends meet. Failure to maintain SALT (state and local tax deductions) could lead to more families leaving our region."[75][76]

Donald Trump

An analysis by FiveThirtyEight in early 2017 found Stefanik supporting Trump's position in 77.7 percent of House votes from the 115th to the 117th Congress.[77]

First Trump impeachment

Stefanik and President Donald Trump at Fort Drum in August 2018
Stefanik and President Donald Trump at Fort Drum in August 2018

On September 25, 2019, Stefanik announced that she did not support the impeachment of President Trump.[78] During the November 2019 hearings, in which Congress gathered evidence and heard witness testimony in relation to the impeachment inquiry, Stefanik emerged as a key defender of Trump.[79][80][81] During a November 15 hearing, intelligence committee ranking member Devin Nunes attempted to yield part of his allotted witness questioning time to Stefanik, but was ruled out of order by committee chairman Adam Schiff.[82] Stefanik accused Schiff of "making up the rules as he goes" and of preventing Republican committee members from controlling their time to question witnesses.[82] Nunes and Stefanik were violating the procedural rules that were established by an October House vote, and Schiff cited the rule to them.[79][81][83] The rule Schiff cited authorized only Schiff and Nunes, or their counsels, to ask questions during the first 45 minutes of each party's questions for witnesses.[82] The incident created a controversy in which Stefanik and others, including Trump, accused Schiff of "gagging" her.[84] The Washington Post and other sources characterized the incident as a "stunt" to portray Schiff as unfair.[85][86][87][88][89]

2020 election fraud conspiracy theories

After Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election and Trump refused to concede while making false claims of fraud, Stefanik aided Trump in his efforts to overturn the election results.[90] She also made claims of fraud, saying among other things that "more than 140,000 votes came from underage, deceased, and otherwise unauthorized voters" in Fulton County, Georgia.[90] She also expressed "concerns" about Dominion Voting Systems, the subject of numerous false right-wing conspiracy theories.[91] In December 2020, Stefanik supported the lawsuit Texas v. Pennsylvania, an attempt to reverse Trump's loss[92] by petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to reject certified results in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Georgia.[93][94][95] After a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, Stefanik condemned the violence but rejected the idea that Trump was at fault.[96][97] She has promoted conspiracy theories about a "stolen election",[98] and just hours after the invasion of the Capitol, she voted against accepting Pennsylvania's electoral votes in the 2020 election.[99][100][101] Later in January, she expressed opposition to impeaching Trump over his alleged role in inciting the storming of the Capitol.[102] She voted against the second impeachment on January 13.[103]

In May 2021, Stefanik described Trump as the "strongest supporter of any president when it comes to standing up for the Constitution."[104]

Defense

Stefanik with Defense Secretary Ash Carter in 2015
Stefanik with Defense Secretary Ash Carter in 2015

In a July 2015 Washington Times profile, Jacqueline Klimas noted that Stefanik was the only freshman on that year's conference committee for the defense policy bill, a position accorded to her "because of her extensive experience in foreign policy— working in the George W. Bush administration, prepping Rep. Paul Ryan for his vice presidential debates, and listening to commanders at Fort Drum in her home district". Jack Collens, a political science professor at Siena College, told Klimas that Stefanik's prize committee position signaled that party leaders wanted Stefanik to be part of "the next generation of Republican leaders".[105]

Stefanik united New York House members "to spare Fort Drum from drastic cuts". Instead of a planned reduction of 40,000 troops, Fort Drum lost only 28, making it a standout among stateside Army bases.[105]

Environment

Stefanik criticized Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, saying it was "misguided" and "harms the ongoing effort to fight climate change, while also isolating us from our allies".[106]

In January 2017, Stefanik joined the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, an apparent indication of "a moderate stance on climate change issues".[107]

Health care

On May 4, 2017, Stefanik voted on party lines in favor of repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and passing the House Republican-sponsored American Health Care Act.[108][109]

Following a televised community forum in Plattsburgh four days later, at which many attendees opposed her vote and wanted to maintain Obamacare,[110] Stefanik said she had been unfairly criticized for her vote for AHCA.[111][112] She defended her vote in a post on Medium, "Setting the Record Straight on the American Health Care Act".[113][114] Her claims about the effects of the AHCA were strongly disputed by fact checkers at the Glens Falls Post-Star,[115] North Country Public Radio,[116] and the Albany Times Union.[117]

In 2017, Stefanik co-sponsored the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act in the 115th Congress—legislation that, among other things, would eliminate the genetic privacy protections of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 and allow companies to require employees to undergo genetic testing or risk paying a penalty of thousands of dollars, and let employers see that genetic and other health information. The American Society of Human Genetics opposes the bill.[118]

In November 2017, Stefanik voted for the Championing Healthy Kids Act, which would provide a five-year extension to the Children's Health Insurance Program.[119]

Immigration

Stefanik opposed Trump's 2017 executive order imposing a temporary ban on travel and immigration to the United States by nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries.[120]

Stefanik declined to condemn the Trump administration family separation policy,[121] instead publishing a press release congratulating Trump after he signed an Executive Order to suspend new separations and detain families.[122]

On March 26, 2019, Stefanik was one of 14 Republicans to vote with all House Democrats to override Trump's veto of a measure unwinding the latter's declaration of a national emergency at the southern border.[123]

In 2021, Stefanik voted against the DREAM Act, which nine Republicans voted for.[124]

Intelligence

Stefanik with Jane Corwin and Lance Yohe of the International Joint Commission in July 2019
Stefanik with Jane Corwin and Lance Yohe of the International Joint Commission in July 2019

Stefanik voted to release the Nunes memo[125] written by staff members of Representative Devin Nunes.[126] Trump asserted that the memo discredited the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections,[127] but the Federal Bureau of Investigation asserted: "material omissions of fact ... fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy."[128]

Stefanik supported the ending of the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections[129] over the objections of Committee Democrats.[130]

Postal Service

Stefanik was one of 26 Republicans to vote with the entire Democratic caucus in favor of a $25 billion relief bill for the postal service at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taxes

On December 19, 2017, Stefanik voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. In a December 18 Facebook post, she wrote, "The final bill does not adequately protect the state and local tax deduction that so many in our district and across New York rely on ... New York is one of the highest taxed states in the country, and families here rely on this important deduction to make ends meet."[131]

Net neutrality

After the Federal Communications Commission decided to repeal Obama-era net neutrality in December 2017, Stefanik urged her congressional colleagues to pass legislation restoring the policy.[132]

Cybersecurity

In September 2018, Stefanik, Seth Moulton and Dan Donovan co-sponsored the Cyber Ready Workforce Act advanced by Jacky Rosen. The legislation would create a grant program within the Department of Labor to "create, implement, and expand registered apprenticeships" in cybersecurity. It aims to offer certifications and connect participants with businesses, in order to "boost the number" of workers for federal jobs in that field.[133][134]

LGBT rights

In the 116th Congress, Stefanik was one of eight Republicans to vote in favor of the Equality Act.[135][136] Later in the same Congress, she introduced a bill, The Fairness for All Act, that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people, while also including exceptions for religious groups and small businesses with religious foundations.[137] In the 117th Congress, Stefanik voted against the Equality Act on February 25, 2021, despite supporting the same legislation in the previous Congress.[138][139]

Voting rights

Stefanik opposes the For the People Act. She made a false claim that the legislation would "prevent removal of ineligible voters from registration rolls." Both FactCheck.org and PolitiFact rated Stefanik's claim "False", with PolitiFact stating, "No section of the bill prevents an election official from removing an ineligible person on the voting rolls."[140][141]

Women in politics

Stefanik has long advocated for empowering women in the Republican Party and has influenced the party's culture to prioritize electing more women.[47] After her election in 2014, Stefanik named Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg as a major influence on her decision to run for Congress.[142]

Awards and recognition

Stefanik was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa in 2015 as an honoris causa initiate at SUNY Plattsburgh. In 2020, Fortune magazine included Stefanik in its "40 Under 40" listing in the "Government and Politics" category.[143]

Electoral history

New York's 21st congressional district
Year Republican Votes Pct Democrat Votes Pct Green Votes Pct Ref
2014 Elise Stefanik 96,226 53.0% Aaron G. Woolf 53,140 29.3% Kevin Knedler 19,238 10.6% [14]
2016 Elise Stefanik 164,212 66.1% Mike Derrick 72,637 29.3% Matthew Funiciello 11,394 4.6% [29]
2018 Elise Stefanik 131,981 56.1% Tedra Cobb 99,791 42.4% Lynn Kahn 3,437 1.5% [31]
2020 Elise Stefanik 188,649 58.8% Tedra Cobb 131,992 41.1% [32]

See also

References

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  2. ^ Sen, Bonnie (August 20, 2017). "Elise Stefanik, Matthew Manda". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 11, 2021. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  3. ^ LoTemplio, Joe (October 6, 2014). "Stefanik delivers national radio address". Press-Republican. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  4. ^ Lobbyist, Hungry (December 24, 2015). "Feasting Famously with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik".
  5. ^ Stanforth, Lauren (January 7, 2021). "Elise Stefanik: from ambitious private school student to ardent Trump backer". Times Union. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Fandos, Nicholas P. (August 12, 2014). "The youngest congresswoman?". Politico. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  7. ^ LoTemplio, Joe (August 18, 2013). "Congressional challengers line up". Press-Republican. Archived from the original on November 17, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  8. ^ "New Members of Congress (2014)" (PDF). CQ Weekly. November 6, 2014. p. 42. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
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  10. ^ "Manson, Schuker honored for leadership". The Harvard Gazette. April 20, 2006. Archived from the original on May 6, 2007. Retrieved October 5, 2014. In addition to recognition of Manson and Schuker, the College will honor seniors Stacey Borden and Elise Stefanik, both honorable mentions for the Women's Leadership Award.
  11. ^ a b c Weiner, Mark (March 22, 2019). "Elise Stefanik declared winner of GOP primary in NY-21". The Post-Standard. Archived from the original on November 17, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
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  14. ^ a b c d Center, Shira T. (November 12, 2014). "How Elise Stefanik Became the Youngest Woman Ever Elected to Congress". Roll Call. Archived from the original on November 23, 2018.
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  20. ^ "Stefanik wins 21st". The Post-Star. November 4, 2014. Archived from the original on October 10, 2019.
  21. ^ "Between the Lines: States With 2011 Races Get Early Redistricting". Roll Call. February 14, 2011. Archived from the original on October 10, 2019.
  22. ^ Sherman, Jake; Isenstadt, Alex (January 14, 2014). "Democrat Bill Owens to retire". Politico. Archived from the original on October 10, 2019.
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  24. ^ Freedman, Dan (May 5, 2016). "Elise Stefanik won't say Donald Trump's name, but pledges GOP loyalty". Times Union. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
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  28. ^ Mann, Brian (May 4, 2016). "NY21 Can Matt Funiciello Build a Bernie Style Movement in the North Country". North Country Public Radio. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
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  30. ^ Kenmore, Abraham (May 22, 2019). "Stefanik wants sharp response to Iran". Watertown Daily Times. Archived from the original on June 4, 2019 – via the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
  31. ^ a b Goot, Michael (November 7, 2018). "Rep. Stefanik re-elected to third term". The Post-Star. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
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  33. ^ Earle, Geoff (January 7, 2015). "Youngest-ever congresswoman stands out on first day in office". New York Post. New York, New York. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  34. ^ "Biography". Elise Stefanik's Congressional Website. Washington, D.C. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  35. ^ Flatley, Daniel; White, Perry (February 5, 2015). "Stefanik named to leadership post on subcommittee". Watertown Daily Times. Watertown, New York. Retrieved June 23, 2015. Military readiness, training, logistics and maintenance issues and programs, military construction, installations and family housing issues, and the BRAC process are all part of the subcommittee's purview.
  36. ^ Murray, Stephanie (January 12, 2021). "Harvard removes Republican Elise Stefanik from advisory committee". POLITICO. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  37. ^ Massachusetts, Associated Press in Cambridge (January 12, 2021). "Republican accuses Harvard of 'caving to the woke left' after school cuts ties". The Guardian. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  38. ^ Bendery, Jennifer (January 12, 2021). "GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik Loses Harvard Post For Lying About Election Fraud". HuffPost. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
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  40. ^ Thompson, Maury (January 11, 2017). "Stefanik selected as co-chairwoman of moderate GOP policy caucus". The Post-Star. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  41. ^ Hamilton, Matthew (September 18, 2017). "Stefanik charts path for moderates amid Washington partisanship". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved January 7, 2018.
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  45. ^ Stefanik, Elise. "I will continue speaking out abt the crisis level of GOP women in Congress & will try to lead and change that by supporting strong GOP women candidates through my leadership PAC". Twitter. Twitter. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
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External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Owens
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 21st congressional district

2015–present
Incumbent
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Patrick Murphy
Baby of the House
2015–2019
Succeeded by
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Party political offices
Preceded by
Charlie Dent
Bob Dold
Adam Kinzinger
Chair of the Tuesday Group
2017–2019
Served alongside: Tom MacArthur (2017), Charlie Dent (2017–2018), John Katko (2017–2019)
Succeeded by
Susan Brooks
John Katko
Fred Upton
Preceded by
Liz Cheney
Chair of the House Republican Conference
2021–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
David Rouzer
United States representatives by seniority
233rd
Succeeded by
Norma Torres
This page was last edited on 23 July 2021, at 02:18
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