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Host Margaret Hoover
Courtesy of Matt Doyle
Host Margaret Hoover

Stream now with the PBS Video App

On "Rising Stars," Margaret Hoover interviews several female Republican rising stars in Congress: Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY), Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), Sen. Joni Ernst (IA) and Rep. Liz Cheney (WY).

They discuss the effort to recruit more GOP women in Congress.

“I spoke with these leaders about the role of women in the GOP and also about the principles that underpin their politics,” says Host Margaret Hoover. “These are women on the front lines of democracy at one of the most critical times in our nation’s history, and their complex and nuanced viewpoints deserve to be heard.”


Stefanik catapulted to national prominence during the impeachment hearings with her strong defense of President Trump, but her record shows that she has not always voted in lockstep with the president. Stefanik was one of only 12 Republicans to vote against the Trump administration’s 2017 tax cuts.

While Herrera Beutler points to her record of reaching across the aisle to get legislation passed, the 41-year-old mother of three says being a Republican woman comes with a specific type of challenge.

“The opposition I faced hasn't actually been within my own party; it's been in political players on the other side who seek to take our seats out, because we're the ones that destroy the narrative that Republicans don't support women,” says Herrera Beutler.

While a record number of women were elected to the current 116th Congress, only 13 House members are Republicans. That is the lowest number in 25 years.

“I looked around and it was just not reflective of the American people,” says Stefanik about meeting with the new Congressional class. “Some of my colleagues were taken aback. They weren't expecting that comment, but it really spurred in me a call to action that we have to do better.”


Stefanik and others in the GOP have been working to recruit female candidates this election cycle. More than 220 Republican women have filed to run for the House of Representatives, more than ever before.

About the Series:

Join author, activist and commentator Margaret Hoover for a public affairs talk show that delivers a civil and engaging contest of ideas among the brightest minds and voices from across the ideological spectrum. Produced by WNET/Thirteen.

Full episodes are available to stream on the series website and YouTube.

Follow @FiringLineShow and @MargaretHoover on Twitter. #FiringLineShowPBS


Join KPBS’s summer-long celebration of women trailblazers in honor of the women’s vote centennial, featuring special programming commemorating U.S. women’s suffrage, the feminist movement and modern-day changemakers.