Elise Stefanik says she is going to have it all.
The new mom, and US House of Representatives GOP conference boss, won’t be slowing down from her official duties, even after the arrival of her son Samuel Albritton Manda six weeks ago.
“I think it is important for women in a senior position in all sorts of careers to talk about that and show that,” she said of balancing family life with a career. “I am so energetic in fighting for the future of this country because it will have an impact on Sam’s life.”
The upstate congresswoman said she was lucky to have parents and in-laws to also shoulder some of the responsibilities.
“That support system is different for every family, but I have the opportunity to continue being the best mom I can be and being the best elected official and public servant I can be because of that support system of family,” she said.
Stefanik, now 37, was the youngest woman ever elected to the House when she won office in 2014. On Aug. 27 she became its newest mom: when 9-pound, 3-ounce Sam, who came in at 23 inches long, was born.
The bubbly baby boy has her eyes, and husband Matthew Manda’s nose, Stefanik gushed.
The 24 hours before Sam’s scheduled birth had been frenetic.
The deadline for President Biden’s withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan was just days away, and hundreds of Americans were still stranded. The night before Sam arrived, Stefanik chaired a conference call with fellow Republican lawmakers in the House to discuss the deteriorating situation.
Sam, however, has been untroubled by the global turmoil and his hobbies for now include looking out the window, going for walks, and listening to Dr. Seuss. Stefanik says she will welcome the full collection into her home. In the morning he enjoys classical music — particularly Chopin.
For Stefanik and her hubby, the last six weeks have been the usual roller coaster of new parenting ups and downs.
“[Sam] has some record days with 20 diapers — and we’ve gotten to be pretty expert diaper changers,” Stefanik laughed, adding the couple has gotten used to sleepless nights.
Sam’s first public appearance was a local 9/11 memorial, while his first letter came from former President Trump, who offered congratulations.
Stefanik says she plans to eventually introduce Sam on the floor the House, when he tags along with her on the regular seven hour drives between her home in Schuylerville to Washington D.C.
Stefanik’s steadfast refusal to slow down may end up being a boon for her Republican colleagues. In the third quarter of 2021 she raised $1.5 million through her various committees and the fundraising platform WinRed.
Through E-PAC, her political action committee, Stefanik has made it her mission to elect more Republican women to congress — and she has sprinkled cash generously to her colleagues. In June her fellow New York representatives Nicole Malliotakis and Claudia Tenney each got $5,000, while her campaign committee transferred $1 million to the National Republican Congressional Committee, FEC records show.
And while banking favors, Stefanik said she was also keeping an eye on the future, saying the White House would be Trump’s again in 2024.
“I believe [Trump] will [run] and I believe that he should. I strongly support the president and I think it’s becoming clearer and clearer and evidenced by the polling that the American people have significant buyer’s remorse when it comes to Joe Biden,” Stefanik said.
Trump is known to be chummy with Stefanik, and rumors have swirled of a possible veep spot if the former president did pursue the White House again.
“If President Trump is reelected president I think it would be an honor to serve in his administration,” she said. “I hope he runs, I will continue doing the best job I can serving my district and serving as conference chair — and being the best mom I can be to Sam.”