House GOP Leadership Now Unanimously Embraces the Insurrectionist Movement
This week House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is leading the charge to purge his Conference Leadership of its only voice opposing the insurrectionist movement that led to the January 6th attack on the Capitol.
House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (WY) was the only member of party leadership who did not vote to overturn the results of the 2020 elections, and has not raised “the Big Lie” that the results were fraudulent. Leader McCarthy immediately anointed Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY) to replace her, who brings unanimity to House GOP Leadership in stoking the fires of a white supremacist insurrectionist movement that the FBI has said was one of the greatest ongoing national security threats facing America.
Here are brief summaries of how members of House Republican Leadership support the insurrectionist cause. Their records reflect the votes to overturn the election and also the embrace of insurrectionist propaganda by the vast majority of their Conference, with a full analysis below.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA): Voted to overturn re-election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, backed a Texas lawsuit to invalidate millions of votes, and voted against the impeachment of President Trump for inciting the insurrectionist attack.
In a memo this week, McCarthy claimed that the Republican party is “a big tent party” and that “unlike the left, we embrace free thought and debate.” Yet McCarthy this week officially endorsed “cancelling” Liz Cheney after her thoughts conflicted with President Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
McCarthy has put being in lockstep with Trump above fact and democracy. Just two days after the 2020 election McCarthy claimed Trump won the election and fomented insurrectionist sentiment saying “we cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes.” Just days before the January 6th insurrection, McCarthy dismissed Republican colleague Adam Kinzinger who warned that Trump’s rhetoric and actions would lead to violence. In April, McCarthy made new statements downplaying the former president’s role in the attack on January 6th, contradicting his own initial response to, and a fellow GOP lawmaker’s recollection of, Trump supporting the insurrectionists.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (LA): Voted to overturn re-election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, voted against the impeachment of President Trump for inciting the insurrectionist attack.
Scalise has since continued to spread false propaganda siding with and inciting the insurrectionist movement. For example, in February Scalise falsely said, “There were a few states that did not follow their state laws. That’s really the dispute that you’ve seen continue on.”
Incoming House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (NY): Voted to overturn the election results in Pennsylvania, voted against the impeachment of President Trump for inciting the insurrectionist attack.
Stefanik has since continued to spread false propaganda siding with and inciting the insurrectionist movement. Just last week she repeated the lie that “more than 140,000 votes came from underage, deceased, and otherwise unauthorized voters — in Fulton County alone,” a preposterous number that would be equivalent to almost a fourth of all votes cast in the county. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, debunked this claim, reiterating that “Across the state, we found only two votes credited to dead voters. The suggestion that one-fourth of all ballots cast in Fulton County in November were illegal is ludicrous.”
“Censure Culture”: A broader purge of dissenting voices standing by democracy
According to CAP Action tracking, Republicans in at least 16 states have either censured, called to censure, or publicly rebuked members of their party who voted to impeach Trump for insurrection or voted to certify the 2020 election results against Trump’s wishes. Republicans such as Sen. Ben Sasse (NE), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK), Rep. Liz Cheney (WY), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL), Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (OH), and more have been disowned by their own official state parties.
Finally, 12 states in total contain county GOP parties that have censured their own representatives, including Nebraska, Wyoming, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Kentucky, Illinois, Washington, Michigan, and Utah.
The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.