Youngest Woman Ever Elected to Congress Introduces GOP to Millennials

New York Republican Elise Stefanik holds hearings on “up for grabs” rising generation.

Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and Martha McSally, R-Ariz., attend a House Armed Services committee meeting.
National Journal
Ron Fournier
Add to Briefcase
Ron Fournier
June 22, 2015, 6:36 a.m.

The young­est wo­man ever elec­ted to Con­gress wants to in­tro­duce her fel­low Re­pub­lic­ans to a pos­it­ive, rad­ic­ally dis­rupt­ive force in polit­ics: her gen­er­a­tion.

“In the private sec­tor, we’ve dis­rup­ted en­tire in­dus­tries to make sure they’re provid­ing the best qual­ity ser­vice to cus­tom­ers and the best products. We haven’t done that in Con­gress yet,” Rep. Elise Stefanik, from New York, said. “Hope­fully, mil­len­ni­als in Con­gress will bring that spir­it of bi­par­tis­an solu­tions to the table.”

The 30-year-old Har­vard gradu­ate is chair­ing a hear­ing for the Re­pub­lic­an Policy Com­mit­tee on Tues­day de­signed to edu­cate GOP law­makers about the chal­lenges and op­por­tun­it­ies of ap­peal­ing to young Amer­ic­ans. “Mil­len­ni­als and the GOP: Learn­ing from Amer­ica’s Emer­ging Lead­ers to Shape To­mor­row’s Re­pub­lic­an Agenda” is the first in what Stefanik en­vi­sions as a three-part series.

Tues­day’s hear­ing will be a primer of sorts, with a lineup of ex­perts who will de­scribe the demo­graph­ic, polit­ic­al, and cul­tur­al at­trib­utes of the na­tion’s largest and most di­verse gen­er­a­tion. “I want to help Con­gress put to­geth­er a vis­ion and set of policies that res­on­ate with my gen­er­a­tion,” she said.

One of the wit­nesses is John Della Volpe, the Har­vard In­sti­tute of Polit­ics poll­ster who has over­seen a 15-year study of mil­len­ni­als. As a Har­vard un­der­gradu­ate, Stefanik served on the stu­dent com­mit­tee that helped write and ana­lyze IOP polling. (Dis­clos­ure: Stefanik also served on a pan­el of stu­dents who helped re­search a book while I served as an IOP fel­low in the 2005. I now serve on the IOP board.)

Polling at Har­vard and for many oth­er or­gan­iz­a­tions sug­gests that young Amer­ic­ans are uniquely civic-minded — they vo­lun­teer in re­cord num­bers, for ex­ample — but they’re dis­con­nec­ted from polit­ics and gov­ern­ment, be­cause they don’t think those in­sti­tu­tions are a force for good. While strongly sup­port­ing Barack Obama in 2008, young Amer­ic­ans seem to be re­vert­ing back to their tra­di­tion­al status as a low-in­volve­ment, in­de­pend­ent-minded vot­ing bloc.

Della Volpe has called Pres­id­ent Obama’s ten­ure a lost op­por­tun­ity.

“Obama had a mo­ment, we all had a mo­ment, between the 2007 and the 2010 midterm elec­tions, to en­gage the largest gen­er­a­tion in U.S. his­tory, and we didn’t do it,” the poll­ster said in 2014. “We treated them like any oth­er polit­ic­al con­stitu­ency, and not like the ser­vice-minded cit­izens they are, and there­fore we dis­ap­poin­ted mil­lions of Amer­ic­ans.”

While mil­len­ni­als favored Demo­crats in that year’s midterms, Stefanik be­lieves there is an op­por­tun­ity for whatever party ad­apts to the mil­len­ni­als spir­it of bi­par­tis­an prob­lem-solv­ing. “My gen­er­a­tion is very tol­er­ant and tries to build re­la­tion­ships and build teams,” she told me in a tele­phone in­ter­view today.

Stefanik be­lieves, with some sup­port from polling data, that mil­len­ni­als would be open to a rebranded GOP that non­ethe­less sup­ports lim­ited gov­ern­ment and bot­toms-up ap­proach to gov­ern­ing. “Mil­len­ni­als are up for grabs if we can ac­tu­ally con­nect with them on those is­sues.”

She hopes to pro­duce mil­len­ni­al-minded policies in the second and third hear­ings. While the Re­pub­lic­an Policy Com­mit­tee is an arm of the GOP lead­er­ship, Stefanik said Demo­crat­ic law­makers are wel­come to at­tend the hear­ings.

She has already shaken things up a bit. Tues­day’s hear­ing will be live-streamed and has its own hasht­ag: #GOP­Fu­ture.

What We're Following See More »
TALKED ABOUT STRENGTHENING RUSSO-U.S. RELATIONS
Vekselberg Met with Cohen Days Before the Election
22 hours ago
THE LATEST

Eleven days before the presidential inauguration last year, a billionaire Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin visited Trump Tower in Manhattan to meet with Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, according to video footage and another person who attended the meeting. In Mr. Cohen’s office on the 26th floor, he and the oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, discussed a mutual desire to strengthen Russia’s relations with the United States under President Trump, according to Andrew Intrater, an American businessman who attended the meeting and invests money for Mr. Vekselberg."

Source:
HAS DELAYED WHILE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES
Mueller Tells Court He’s Ready for Papadopoulos Sentencing
2 days ago
THE LATEST
COPS A PLEA
Cohen Business Partner to Cooperate with Investigators
3 days ago
THE LATEST
R/E HIS DEMAND
Trump Meeting with Wray and Rosenstein
4 days ago
THE LATEST
TRUMP DEMANDED IT IN TWEET
DOJ Asks Watchdog to Look into Any Infiltration of Trump Campaign
5 days ago
THE LATEST

"The Justice Department asked its internal watchdog to examine if there was any impropriety in the counterintelligence investigation of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, after the president demanded Sunday that the department investigate the motives behind the inquiry. Earlier Sunday, in one of a series of tweets targeting the probe into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump wrote: 'I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!'"

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login