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Numerous election deniers help lead new GOP Congress

Speaker McCarthy was one of 139 House Republicans to vote against certifying Biden's victory.

Members of the House of Representatives gather in the House chamber.
Members of the House of Representatives meet to elect a speaker on Jan. 6, 2023. (Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images)

The new leadership of the House of Representatives is filled with Republican legislators who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

After a historic 15 ballots, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., became House speaker late Friday night. McCarthy was one of 139 House GOP members who voted against certifying the election results on Jan. 6, 2021, despite calling then-President Donald Trump and begging him to call off his supporters who had stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to stop Joe Biden from being certified the winner.

In order to become speaker, McCarthy made concessions to a number of Republican holdouts who voted against certification, including Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, who has been investigated by the Justice Department for his role in the events of Jan. 6.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., was a vocal supporter of McCarthy’s speakership bid and another vote against election certification. One of the most right-wing members of the Republican caucus, Greene had her committee assignments stripped away by the previous Congress due to her history of embracing conspiracy theories and making antisemitic remarks.

Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., who is being investigated for fabricating much of his biography during his 2022 campaign, was also an adamant supporter of McCarthy. While Santos was not in Congress to vote at the time, he claims he attended Trump’s Jan. 6 rally and paid to help get rioters out of jail.

Representative Kevin McCarthy and other Congress members stand in the House chamber.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, center, in the House chamber during the meeting to elect a speaker. (Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Behind McCarthy in the Republican House leadership are a number of fellow 2020 election deniers. Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik of New York and Republican Policy Committee Chair Gary Palmer of Alabama all voted to reject Biden’s win.

At the committee chair level, a majority of the gavels were distributed to Republicans who were in support of overturning the election results. One of those chairmanships will go to Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who will lead the Judiciary Committee after being heavily involved with the Trump White House’s efforts to stop Biden from taking office.

Other powerful panels, like the Budget Committee (Jodey Arrington of Texas), the Ways and Means Committee (Jason Smith of Missouri), the Armed Services Committee (Mike Rogers of Alabama) and the Homeland Security Committee (Mark Green of Tennessee), will be led by legislators who voted against certification.

The six other election deniers set to become committee chairs are Mike Bost of Illinois, Sam Graves of Missouri, Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania and Roger Williams of Texas.