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tv   Recruiting Female Republican Candidates Politcal Action Committee Launch...  CSPAN  January 17, 2019 2:47pm-3:23pm EST

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candidates. and we will reconvene for our next panel in 20 minutes. thank you. hearing today from congresswoman elise stefanik from new york, hosting this event, to launch e-pac, to help engage, empower, and elevate republican women in politics. taking a short break here. when they return, we'll be hearing from other experts and authors at the, and getting republican women into politics. while we wait for the discussion to resume, we will take a look at some of the opening remarks by representative stefanik.
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>> welcome, everyone. sorry for the delay. we just finished up our votes on the floor. first of all, wow. i am so excited that so many people turned out in support of this important initiative. and i wanted to welcome everyone here today to the official launch of e-pac, to engage, empower, elevate, and elect more republican women to congress in 2020 and beyond. as you know, we are facing a crisis level of republican women in congress. the number of republican women house members dropped from 23 to only 13 in this congress. let's take a moment to think about that. that means that republican women make up less than 3% of the house of representatives. we know that this is not
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reflective of the american public, and we can and we must do better. and we do not need to ask for permission to tackle this challenge. my commitment to supporting republican women running for congress stems from my own experience when i first ran in 2014. i was 29 years old at the time. when i announced my candidacy. i was the long shot underdog who many said could not win the primary, let alone the general election in a swing district. but because of hard work, grit, and a strong campaign team with grass roots support, we earned recally investment and support. and i am forever grateful for those leaders, many of whom are in this room today, who invested in me early on. leaders like ann wagner, diane black, kathy mcmorris-rogers, susan brooks, paul ryan, and john boehner. i will never forget the faith they had in me and my team. and because of that experience,
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i have focused on how to improve our recruitment efforts for nontraditional candidates. i was honored to serve as the first woman recruitment chair for the national republican congressional committee last cycle. where we successfully recruited 100 women to run for congress. about half did not make it through their primaries. we only added one new republican woman in the freshman class. carol miller, who we love and support, but we need more of. i believe that one way we can attempt to change this trend is by supporting strong women candidatespre-primary. this early investment is critical. i'm proud to announce today that in the 2020 cycle, e-pac will develop a slate of our top women republican candidates pre-primary. similar to the young guns program developed by a then young kevin mccarthy, paul ryan and eric canter, the candidates will qualify for a formal slate by meeting benchmarks.
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the slate will consist of top tier women republican candidates in the country and e-pac will support them with contributions as well as bundling efforts in washington and around the country. unlike the young guns program, this program is for women and it will be pre-primary, early dollars. in addition to the financial support, e-pac will focus on candidate development and mentorship. we will also work to elevate the profiles of these women candidates to ensure that they earn media coverage. something that has been overlooked for republican women candidates. as we build out this robust program, i want to say an enormous thank you to all of you who have stepped up. my initial pie in the sky goal for this event that i thought was really going to be impossible was to raise $100,000. in just two weeks, with your support, we blew past that number and i'm proud to announce today that we have raised over
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$250,000, shattering our goals. [ applause ] so i owe you a great thanks for that early support. and we will pay it forward to more female republican candidates. i also want to thank samsung for welcoming us into your awesome space. thank you for signing up early in support of this initiative. today we will hear from a number of panels. i'm excited to kick it off with the first panel that features house leadership. i will invite them up to the stage now. my friends and colleagues. kevin mccarthy, come on up. thank you. with a contribution. our conference chair, liz cheney from wyoming. and tom emmer, our mrcc chair.
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welcome. first, thank you to all of my friends for your support and for appearing here today at this important launch event. kevin, i will start with you. why do you believe it's important to support republican women? what do they add to the conference? >> okay. first of all, i want to thank you for doing this. i remember when i first met elies when she was eli elise when she was going to run. she was young, enthusiastic, like she still is. she was a trailblazer. doing something others have not done before. we serve in a body that's supposed to be reflective of our country. a microcosm of our society. today, republicans are missing a broad spectrum of that. thank you for your recruiting effort. we had a lot of women who actually serve today who lost. but i will tell you where i was two weeks ago. i was in south dakota for the
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swearing in of christie gnome as the first woman governor of south dakota. if you want to be a representative government and reflect america, we need more women in congress, especially on the republican side. we have to find out the challenge. the number one challenge we have becomes women are minorities. the biggest challenge they have in election is not the general election. they do better in a general election. it's the primary. we've got to get people through where we have the opportunity. when we do, i think we'll be the majority then. i thank you for your effort. >> thanks, kevin. liz, i was very proud to nominate you to serve as our conference chair. that is the highest position of women in the republican conference. we think you are a huge asset in that role. one of the things that you and i have talked about is the importance of reaching out to women voters with our message. can you talk about how you plan
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to tackle that as conference chair? >> thank you. let me add my comments to kevin's in terms of just thank you so much for doing this. thank you for taking a leadership role on it. it's important for the party and us in the house. i think it is crucial. we do need to get more women to run. we need to find what it is that are obstacles to women. in my view a lot of times women spend more time assessing what they don't have, assessing experience they haven't had, rather than just sort of going for it. i think it's important for us to be able to encourage women to jump in. i think that at the end of the day as well as the -- we have to get more women voters. a large part of that for us at conference is going to be making sure our message is getting out. making sure we are demonstrating that if you put our policies up against the policies of the democrats, in particular the very far left policies that you are seeing now coming both from
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a lot of the freshman democrats as well as their presidential candidates, that it's our policies that provide opportunity. it's our policies that provide security for people. it's our policies that help to ensure that everybody has an equal shot, we have an economy growing and providing jobs and we're listening. a huge part of making sure that we are attracting women voters is demonstrating that we're willing to listen to people's concerns. that we're willing to have conversations in small groups around the country as well as at the national level about the kind of future our party will build versus the kind of future the democrats will offer if they're voted in again. i'm excited about it and thrilled to be a colleague of elise on work on this with her. >> tom, as chairman of the nrcc, can you talk to us about what steps the nrcc can take to prioritize women candidates this cycle and ensure we're
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recruiting women candidates? >> actually, we have to continue what you started in the last cycle. the good news is, we have a leader who is in complete alignment with everything that needs to be done. you started it. let's talk about -- i think had is where we are ultimately going to go. we've got susan brooks, our colleague, is going to head up the recruitment. it's not just going to be about susan brooks, as you know. we're excited about what you are doing. we're going to align with you and try to help with what you are doing to the extent we can. right? the mission is the same. i don't think people realize, but in the last cycle, elise is the chair of our recruitment women, recruited a record number of women to run for office. everybody wants to make it look as though it only happened on the other side. you had a record number who ran. money matters. the money was reigned in from the other side.
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they targeted not just our women incumbents but the great candidates you recruited. so much so that we got one through the entire process. that's the focus. you have to find great female candidates. i will give you an example. we had ashley hinson, a sitting state senator, most recently rod blum, the republican was in that district. she approached us the day -- i think the swearing in and said she's running. this is a former tv news anchor, sitting state senator, incredibly polished. what we did -- this will now go to susan brooks. she meets with every one of our women members of our conference. you give her the feedback, you give her the encouragement. liz, you tell them what they have. what they can do to run. we're going to keep building off of what you started and hopefully together we're going to expand this tent not just
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with all new women candidates, and some that ran because they should run again, but other communities that need to be part of the republican party. as the leader said, they have to be more reflective of our communities. >> tom, i know you are very committed to this. i just have to say, he has been wonderful. every female candidate that's reached out to the nrcc he has referred to many of our women members. he made sure i have had the opportunity to talk to them. ashley is one of them. kevin, my next question is for you. when you were a young member, you started the young guns program. you were very focused on developing metrics to ensure our candidates developed into the best possible candidates they can be. can you talk about the importance of those metrics? >> the number one thing you need, it's not just that you encourage somebody to run. you go -- you let them sit there. they need more than just financial resources. they need it. in the last election cycle when
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i analyzed women candidates versus men in the republican, women raised less. your work today is going to change that. we have to change it to another level. getting through the primaries is the most difficulty. sometimes somebody may not have elected knowledge or resources before. it's a continuali intraining. i didn't want washington picking who the candidate should be. whoever wants to run, run. make it a level playing field. put metrics as each seat is different. if you want to run in california, raise $5 million. a different background, what the issues are. put a metric based upon the district. measure it quarter after quarter. it's not washington picking the candidate. the district is. you are giving everybody the opportunity. i found this in a couple places where washington would tell me these people were going to be a good candidate. but i would see somebody inside their district, they had the fire in the belly, the passion
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of why. i said, watch this person. we never heard of them. they would become the member. that's what you want to see. the other thing is, not to be afraid if you don't win the first time. jackie didn't win. she came back and she won again. mia love didn't win the first time. she was one much our first young gun candidates. that early seed somebomoney. it has to be training. expertise in so many different levels and provide that. michigan does this with a portal online. we just had a meeting with them. they call it league of their own. they make it like a minor league. they make baseball around it. they will allow us to utilize that. parker, who is running the nrcc, this is a perfect portal. it would be elise, liz, going in and explaining live on what needs to be done, what the an e angles help for. you want national security.
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boom. intel committee. what happens is, a lot of people don't know some of the successes of others. they say, i can do that, too. the first part, we have to let people understand, yes, they can run and they can win. it might not look like it today. it can happen. >> one of the challenges for our women is making sure that we elevate their voices when they are elected to serve. i think about some of the amazing women we have in our conference. they have really led on issues i don't think the american public knows about necessarily. it's not front page news. an example is all of the amazing work ann wagner has done to combat human trafficking or jamie herrera's bill to address maternal mortality issues. as conference chair, it's important to elevate our republican women voices so that they are leading on not just women's issues but all issues. tell me how you intend to approach that. >> i think you make a good point.
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i think that part -- one of the things i find to be inaccurate about the way we have seen the democrats do this is to say, there are women's issues and there are other issues. in my experience, you know, what that means is usually, for example, they assume national security is not an issue women care about. well, you talk to any mother, anybody sitting at a kitchen table wanting to know their kids are going to be safe, national security matters a lot to women. i think partly what we have do is make sure that our women know that we are at conference -- our responsibility is to make sure people have an outlet, people have the ability to be heard, to have their voices heard, to make sure nationally and around the country we are hoping to book women members and others. i want to go back for one minute to the issue of the women candidates. one of the things -- i have five kids. i spend a lot of time in classrooms with my kids' teachers. if you go to any preschool,
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3-year-old, 4-year-old classroom around the country, you will see that the girls are running circles around the boys in the classrooms. >> like in congress. >> exactly. that's right. the girls are in charge. but then it starts to change. june year hi junior high, high school, the girls aren't returning things anymore. i asked, why is this? why is it all of a sudden the girls aren't out there in the lead? she said something to me that is true. she said, the girls stop taking risks. i'm not an advocate for crazy risk taking. i do think it's really important for us to be able to say to women candidates, just because you have never fund-raised before, you have never run before, because you have never been on tv before, don't let that stop you. most of the men candidates haven't done that either. i think that's where our women in conference both highlighting all of the work they're doing on
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issues and highlighting them as examples for young women to get into the race is hugely important. it's a big priority and something we're going to be focused on. >> tom, last cycle you served as one of the deputies at the nrcc. we got to work together. talk to me about your strategy. we know you are laser focused on winning back the majority. i know you have been hard at work. broadening that from recruiting republican women, how are you approaching that job? >> this is a different election. last election is what you would refer to as a check election, a check on the new president. this is going to be a choice election. this is going to be a choice about what direction this country should go. our focus, with the candidates, all candidates, including the many female candidates we hope to be putting up, is going to be about localizing the races. this is still a center right country. i know the talking heads want people to be concerned that we
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have a political realignment taking place in the country. that's not true. this is still a center right country. you have 34% of the voters in the last election identified as hard republican, 37% identified -- i guess it was 33%. 37% as hard democrats. pretty normal. 30% identified as independent. they fell 12 points in favor of the democrats. those are the people that we have to target. ann wagner resurrected the suburban caucus. this was an idea from 2004. the idea was in order for you to maintain a majority, you not only have to win these greater states, the rural areas of america, but you have to win your number -- the majority of those independents. that is the center right suburbs, educated women we lost in this last election. we're going to be focusing on
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that. it's not only recruiting people that identify with their district and can speak and connect to their district, but it's also making sure that those candidates are delivering a message in the suburbs so we can win a majority of the independents. >> i know as our republican leader, you spend a lot of time as well working with the nrcc, working with tom and our entire team and our entire conference on how to win in 2020. can you talk to me how you plan on approaching this next cycle? >> a couple ways. i want to give you one example about -- it's not just the nrcc that recruit. it's all of us. before i got to congress, i was a state assembly member. 90 some percent of anyone who comes to congress served in their state assembly. i come from an area in california -- it's tough in california. right? i recruited the person who followed me in the state assembly. she was a woman.
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she went on to the senate. you know what? she became the first woman leader in the senate, republican or democrat. i recruited the next person to come into the assembly. she was a donor of mine. i said, you thought about running? the first one i recruited, she was the superintendent of schools. there was a person who got in and put $1 million in. i said, you can win. i will be behind you 100%. you know who got elected? the new republican leader. the last three republican leaders in california have all been women. she just came from the person i recruited as well. there's a responsibility. can we win? can we win the majority? when i analyze what took place last time, one was history. we are supposed to lose 30 some seats. we had 41 retirements. when it's an open seat, it's a bad situation. the democrats were successful in the court case. they redrew pennsylvania. that gave them three seats before the election took place. then they changed the election law in maine where they make it a ranked system.
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if it was no longer a chain in the election law, we would have maine again. they changed the law. so what does it look like now? we have a higher minority than the democrats had. we have 18 to get there. history says we're not supposed to lose 30 some seats. we're supposed to gain nine. we're halfway there. we have three seats we have to defend. they have 31. it's a whole different makeup. what has to happen is when you want to get a good recruit, especially what we're looking for, reflective of the country, we should put money into the race and not wait until after
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the primary. if you are going to get a new candidate, we will recruit a woman. she will have a tough primary. we will be there for her. we will lean in. right? she's going to get out of the primary and have maybe 200,000 in the bank. she will look at the incumbent having 2 million. if we raise the money now -- when she finishes that primary, there's $1 million for her. she's got a level playing field. you will get a higher quality candidate and somebody as liz says that's willing to take a risk that they haven't thought before. the greatest challenge -- i never ask somebody or try to talk them into running. i ask why you want to. if you care about your country, if you are concerned it's going in a direction you don't want to, you will be the best candidate we have found. it's the same question i asked e elise. she was going to become the youngest woman in the history of
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congress. you know she had to break china to get here. she was fearless to do it. when she saw a problem, she went and did recruiting. we weren't as successful as we wanted to be. she didn't stop. she put this together. you came because you care. you have a passion. don't just put it on us to recruit. you know people. encourage. don't just encourage for congress. do every other level we can. >> as we talked about some of our really strong candidates that ran last cycle but unfortunately came up short, i think of young kim as one of the examples. they have amazing personal stories. amazing backgrounds. i find that those stories do not get adequate coverage in the media. the same way that democraticcan coverage. for me in this program, that's one of our goals is to elevate those stories and tell them in a
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serious way. that's why we have elisebeth hang who is the daughter of cambodian refugees, a former policy expert on the house foreign affairs committee as well as a entrepreneur. she and her brother started a number of businesses in the telecom industry. that story wasn't told until the last month of the election cycle. that story should have been told much earlier. how can we and you as conference chair ensure we're telling those stories to elevate these amazing profiles? >> i think it's absolutely right. i think it's true of the women in our conference. i find it to be true across the board in our conference. frankly, in the house. you can sit down next to any member of the house and ask their life story. for the most part, it's a fascinating, unbelievable set of experiences. i think that's one of the messages we have to convey is -- it's to young people especially
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and young women, that you can make a difference. you can have an impact. it is an unbelievably rare thing that we get to live in this nation where we get to decide who is in charge, we get to decide what our laws are, we get to decide who represents us. i think we take it for granted too much. when you think about the message to young women in particular, thinking about running, i do think it's important -- so much you see in the media about politics, about politicians, about campaigns, makes people's eyes glaze over or they roll their eyes. i think part of our job, all of us as elected representatives, is to remind people how special this nation is. how unique it is. that one person can make all the difference. i think that's where highlighting our women's stories, making sure that women candidates have access to understand sort of, this is what happens in the house of representatives. this is how one person can
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change things. that's the only way things do change. it's one of the reasons i'm so -- i'm humbled to be here and proud to be elise's colleague. she's changing things. i want to echo everything that kevin and tom have said and thank you for doing this. >> one quick story. when elise was running, i traveled to all the districts. my wife, the only trip she would want to go on is to see elise. it was her favorite candidate. i have a daughter. she doesn't know this. she had never met her before. she inspired megan. she watched this race closer than any others. this is a great opportunity. if she can do it, i can do it. that's when you talk about getting stories out. liz or others that -- you are doing this. what all of you are doing in your professional life as well. it inspires others. we almost have to get that mentoring program going even as
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a younger age in high school and others to help people be able to get there. >> i have one last question. i'm going to ask each of the panelists -- i will start with you, tom, since you meet with many of the recruits across the country, both women kcandidates and male candidates. what are the key metrics you think determine success for a candidate? i found that as i met with hundreds of candidates last cycle, it was really important to be transparent. we want you to set these fund raising goals. you need to have a data driven campaign. talk to me -- there are candidates potentially in the audience today -- about what specific metrics you are looking for. >> first, thank you for doing this. it's incredible. when i sit here and listen to you, the things that you have done in your lifetime and what you are doing right now. liz, it's an honor to serve with you. kevin, as i listen -- you and i have had a lot of dealings over the last four years.
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you are the best political person in our conference. you are the best fund-raiser in our conference. you really are the best judge of talent in the conference. we're lucky to have you as our leader. as he was talking about inspiration, he is mine. his whole goal -- this is -- he brings everybody in, regardless of race, color, creed, gender. it's about being on the right side of history and making sure that this country provides the opportunity that it is supposed to for everybody. the first thing that i do when somebody comes in, it's probably the same thing you do, do they have the fire? are you just coming in because, it looks like this might be fun to do? do you have any idea what you are getting into? you will run to 700,000 people. you will run a business depending where you are, you are going to be raising between $2 million and $3 million. it might be more in just the
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next 12, 16 months. by the way, if you are fortunate enough to get elected, the people that you are selling yourself to say, you are our voice. we want you in congress. now you run two businesses, if not more. the first thing i do, i want to know, why do you want to run. kevin said it best. i'm worried about the future of the country. i'm worried about pmy children' future. that's the first step. the second step is, do you know what you are getting into? do you know how big this is? if you have never done it, that's not a reason not to take the risk. if you have the fire, you have a lot of friends that will help. seeing you in the room today and what elise has been doing, it shows that there is a hunger for candidates. if we can get candidates that have the hunger themselves, then we can provide them with the
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resources. it is about being able to raise money. we also tell them when they come in -- some of you are in this room, so this isn't meant as a slight. before you hire anyone as a consultant, before you take the vast suite of services and products they are offering for your campaign, call us. we will probably tell you you don't need that right now. there are many things we try to work with. the first thing is what's here and what's here. if that's there -- i'm going to add one other thing. family. if your family is with you, man or woman, doesn't matter who is running, if you have that support, it's going to be a good start. we can help with the rest. >> thanks. liz, do you want to answer that question? >> sure. i think tom has covered the logistics and the specifics and details. i often try to encourage people just to do it. i spent time working at the
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state department on the middle east. one of the programs i worked on was helping women get the right to vote in other countries. we worked with women in kuwait who got themselves the right to vote. they made t-shirts. one of my prized possessions is a t-shirt that says half a democracy is not a democracy. i think that's so important for us to remember. yes, make sure you have the ability to fund-raise and you have the ability to organize and the ability to do all of the campaign -- the details and logistics. i am just -- i'm so proud and so honored and humbled to be able to serve in this body and live in this country. i really -- what i do is i encourage people do it. there's such a unique opportunity we have to change the future and to make a difference. i think it's really important for young candidates to hear that. you gotta make sure they got the fire in their belly. if they do, i just think we gotta say, absolutely, get in this thing.
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>> kevin? >> it is up with of tone of the most difficult things you would do. we probably have the only occupation in the world that every two years we get to know the number of people who dislike us. >> every day, sometimes. >> in the world of the internet today, the obstacles are lower. the internet is going to change -- it's going to be disruptive. what that means is, there's no monopoly on it. you can come from anywhere, any walk of life. your voice could be amplified bigger than you had before. i'm going to tell you right now, women -- more people are going to listen to you. there's a better opportunity, timing for it. when you run, you are going to think these certain people will do so much for you. they probably aren't going to do
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that much. you are going to meet people you never met before that will do more for you than even your family. give you a shirt off their back. you will be inspired more about your own country, win or lose, that it's one of the best experiences you have ever had. i have an individual back home, she was in the business of publisher of books. she never thought about running for office. the office came open. i said, she would make a great representation to be a supervisor. she became the supervisor. she ran and she lost. she was so inspired, she's the mayor of our city today. last night i watched this awards show where they got the best high school student and competing. you said something about yourself. the student got up, he was a senior. and he said, what is the one thing about himself? i would do anything for karen go. she walked on the stage and asks a question. she has inspired him where he had never met her before.
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i swant you to think about that. people you work with that are just good at their job. i don't care what the job is. you would be proud of them to represent you. give them a window and opportunity to do it. >> before we close out the panel, i wanted to publically thank steve scalise, who is the republican whip. he was not able to attend because he is on the house floor. i have to tell you, when we launched this initiative, which started off as informal, just talking about the importance of electing more republican women, steve picked up the phone and was the first phone call. he was the first check to max out to this initiative. i want to thank you. i want to thank all of the leadership for their support, for their commitment to this and for elevating our current women who are serving in the house


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