The National Border Patrol Council is endorsing Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as the new House GOP conference chair, assuming Cheney goes down next week.
“As President Biden’s policies continue to create the worst 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,” Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, said in a statement obtained exclusively by Breitbart News ahead of its public release.
“Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is the strongest member to share and grow our message of securing our border and protecting our communities.”
Judd continues in the five-paragraph endorsement by noting over the years he has served as the president of the National Border Patrol Council—the union that represents Border Patrol agents—he has met many lawmakers. “I have been impressed by some and underwhelmed by others,” Judd wrote. “I am happy to say Congresswoman Stefanik easily fits into the first category. She is one of the most ardent supporters of the Border Patrol’s mission as well as law enforcement generally.”
Judd adds Stefanik’s “efforts both legislatively and behind the scenes” have helped keep “illegal drugs and dangerous criminals from flooding our communities.” He continues:
Representative Stefanik supports funds to build the wall, technology to augment the Border Patrol’s capabilities, and more resources for the men and women on the front lines. I am truly grateful to say in the strongest possible terms that Elise opposes policies that have been so dangerous for our communities such as sanctuary cities, licenses for illegal immigrants, and public assistance for those who chose to violate our immigration laws (the magnets that draw people and encourage them to cross our borders illegally).
She also opposes amnesty for those whose very first act in coming to the U.S. was to knowingly and willingly cross our borders illegally. Representative Stefanik has been a true border security champion.
Judd’s endorsement of Stefanik for House GOP conference chairwoman comes in the wake of former President Donald Trump backing her as well. Judd’s statement notes the National Border Patrol Council is proud to stand with the former president in endorsing Stefanik.
It also comes after House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy has been backing Stefanik behind the scenes making phone calls for her, and House GOP whip Steve Scalise publicly endorsed her for the job.
House Republicans, when Congress returns next week, are likely to at Wednesday’s regularly-scheduled conference meeting, force a vote to remove Cheney as conference chair and then move to bring Stefanik into the job as her replacement.
Stefanik has been a stalwart political ally of Trump—and was key in backing him up during him impeachment battles with congressional Democrats—but some conservatives are worried about her voting record. The Club for Growth has come out against her candidacy for conference chair, and others have raised questions about various votes she has taken.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said on Wednesday at the Republican National Committee’s 2020 convention that the Democrats’ “impeachment sham” was not only an attack on President Donald Trump but on the American people who elected him. https://t.co/wJnXprgaQK
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 27, 2020
Politico, no friend to Republicans, on Friday morning published a missive attempting to divide the House GOP conference by claiming that Stefanik does not have the support of people like columnist Ann Coulter, former broadcaster Lou Dobbs, and former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis.
Many of them, per the report from Politico’s Tina Nguyen, have targeted Stefanik on immigration. But getting key endorsements like Judd’s—literally having the actual Border Patrol agents at her side—is going to make it harder for critics to claim she is not tough on immigration.
The move is very similar to Trump’s campaign in 2016, when the Border Patrol union backed Trump in March 2016 amid his heated primary battle with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the homestretch of the nomination battle.
What’s more, Stefanik has been aggressively courting the right in recent days.
She appeared on Thursday on both the War Room broadcast with former Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon and on Sebastian Gorka’s show on Salem Radio Networks. She will appear on Saturday on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel as well.