(USA Features) The head of the union that represents U.S. Border Patrol agents threw his support behind Rep. Elise Stefanik to replace embattled Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the House Republican Conference.
“Representative Stefanik has been a true border security champion,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd says in a statement shared by the New York congresswoman on Twitter.
“As President Biden’s policies continue to create the worse surge in illegal immigration in our history, it is more important than ever for our leaders to share a unified message in Congress on the importance of border security. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is the strongest member to share and grow our message of securing the border and protecting our communities,” Judd said in a statement posted with the tweet.
Thank you to our brave Border Patrol Officers for your endorsement! pic.twitter.com/hiqflKCbVc
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 7, 2021
“Her efforts both legislatively and behind the scenes have kept illegal drugs and dangerous criminals from flooding our communities,” he continued.
“In short, Congresswoman Stefanik is a leader. She will protect the citizens of this great nation,” the endorsement says.
“She is the right leader at the right time,” Judd concludes.
“Biden’s border crisis is an absolute disaster for our country. We need strong BORDER SECURITY immediately,” the New York Republican said in a follow-up tweet.
Cheney has increasingly come under fire from a growing number of House Republicans for her long-running feud with former President Donald Trump and her opposition to his ‘America First’ agenda of reaching out to working-class Americans, which is increasingly being embraced by the House GOP caucus.
Last week, Cheney told a GOP retreat that she doesn’t believe Trump runs, or should control, the direction of the party.
“I think right now, the Republican Party is headed by Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy in the House. I think our elected leaders are the ones who are in charge of the Republican Party,” Cheney said during the House Republicans’ policy retreat in Florida.
“I think as we look at ’22 and ’24, we’re very much going to be focused on substance and on the issues,” Cheney added. “And I think that’s where you’ve got to attract back the voters that we lost in 2020, by conveying to them that, in fact, we are the party that they can trust. We’re the party of competence and of conservative principles.”
Those views have put her at odds even with Minority Leader McCarthy of California.
“There’s no concern about how she voted on impeachment. That decision has been made,” McCarthy said in an interview this week with Fox News, adding that he’s hearing “from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message.”
“We all need to be working as one if we’re able to win the majority,” he added. “Remember, majorities are not given, they are earned. And that’s about the message about going forward.”
Ahead of a separate interview with Fox News earlier this week, McCarthy was heard disparaging Cheney over a hot mic.
“I think she’s got real problems. I’ve had it with … I’ve had it with her,” McCarthy was heard saying. “You know, I’ve lost confidence. Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place.”
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said this week the “votes are there” to at least oust Cheney next week, and perhaps replace her with Stefanik.
“You can’t have a Republican conference chair reciting Democrat talking points,” Jordan said.
“You can’t have a Republican conference chair taking a position that 90 percent of the party disagrees with, and you can’t have a Republican party chair consistently speaking out against the individual who 74 million Americans voted for,” he added.