| Arizona Republic
Arizona’s two most outspoken House Republicans who have claimed election fraud voted Sunday to move ahead with seating all members, even in the six states — including their own — where President Donald Trump and his supporters have said the White House race was stolen.
Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar joined with all but two House members in a vote to proceed with swearing in members of the 117th Congress even after Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, sought to block seating those in the states where Trump groundlessly maintains election theft.
Roy argued that if members are claiming Trump lost in stolen elections, then none of the congressional results from those states should be accepted.
In a written statement, Roy said: “I do not make this objection lightly and take no pleasure in it, but believe that I am compelled to do so because a number of my colleagues — whom I hold in high regard — have publicly stated that they plan to object to the acceptance of electors from those particular six states due to their deeply held belief that those states conducted elections plagued by statewide, systemic fraud and abuse that leaves them absolutely no way for this chamber or our constituents to trust the validity of their elections.
“Such allegations — if true — raise significant doubts about the elections of at least some of the members of the United States House of Representatives that, if not formally addressed, could cast a dark cloud of suspicion over the validity of this body for the duration of the 117th Congress.”
Spokespeople for Biggs and Gosar did not immediately respond Sunday evening to a request to explain their votes. Gosar, for example, previously has said that Trump’s loss in a state doesn’t mean that every race in that state was stolen.
Roy is among a small number of House Republicans troubled by the election results but who will not join an effort to derail Biden’s election win by challenging the outcome.
His request Sunday, and the subsequent vote to swear in members, was part of the bizarre mix of pomp, procedural votes and vague efforts to overturn the November election and December’s electoral votes won by President-elect Joe Biden.
It came on the same day that Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., won election as House speaker for another two years.
Pelosi reelected as House speaker with narrow vote
California Representative Nancy Pelosi has won her fourth term as the speaker of the House and gaveled in the 117th Congress.
Staff Video, USA TODAY
All nine of Arizona’s House members voted along party lines for either Pelosi or House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to head the chamber.
More pushback is expected later this week on behalf of Trump, who on Saturday personally pressed Georgia election officials to “find” enough votes for him to carry that state, according to the Washington Post, which obtained and published audio of an hourlong phone call.
Biggs and Gosar joined with four Arizona House Democrats and Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., to proceed with the swearing-in of the House members. Reps. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz. and Greg Stanton, D-Ariz., did not vote.
The resolution passed 371-2 and followed Roy’s effort to block members from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Stanton did not vote because his group of lawmakers, voting separately to help maintain social distancing during the pandemic, was not called.
A spokesperson for Lesko did not respond late Sunday to explain her non-vote.
Biggs and Gosar have been among the most vocal supporters of Trump and outspoken in their groundless view that the November election was stolen.
Biggs has called for an audit of Maricopa County’s election processes and in November suggested results in Georgia and Pennsylvania “are an absolute mess.” Gosar has said Biden’s win is “illegitimate” and continues to point to conspiracies alleging election fraud unsupported by election officials across the country in both parties.
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