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McCarthy with Trump in 2017. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Friday joined 125 House Republicans in backing the Texas lawsuit that seeks to invalidate the millions of votes in four battleground states that President-elect Joe Biden won.

Why it matters: McCarthy was left off of the original filing on Thursday and would not answer questions about whether he supported the long-shot lawsuit, which has been dismissed by legal experts as doomed to fail. He is now the highest-ranking Republican in Congress to back the suit, which President Trump has called "the big one."

  • By signing the amicus brief, the GOP members are encouraging the Supreme Court to hear arguments in the case, even though all 50 states have certified their election results and no evidence of widespread fraud has been uncovered.
  • The lawsuit alleges that Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin skewed the presidential election results and electors selected by voters in those states should not be permitted to cast votes for Biden.

What they're saying: “This brief presents [our] concern as Members of Congress, shared by untold millions of their constituents, that the unconstitutional irregularities involved in the 2020 presidential election cast doubt upon its outcome and the integrity of the American system of elections,” the brief signed by GOP lawmakers states.

Details: Signatories include House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.) and National Republican Congressional Committee chair Tom Emmer (Minn.) Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), head of the conservative Republican Study Committee, led the effort to solicit signatures.

  • The total amounts to 64% of the House GOP caucus, after 20 members — including McCarthy — joined on Friday.

The other side: GOP Conference chair Liz Cheney (Wyo.) is among the high-profile Republicans who did not back the suit.

  • Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.) wrote on Twitter that the case “represents a dangerous violation of federalism” and “sets a precedent to have one state asking federal courts to police the voting procedures of other states.”

The big picture: 17 states filed a brief in the Supreme Court this week in support of Texas, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia.

Go deeper

Scoop: GOP ignored its early fears about Marjorie Taylor Greene

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

During previously unreported meetings last summer, House Republican leaders discussed — but then largely set aside — fears that QAnon-supporting conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene would end up a flaming trainwreck for their party.

Why it matters: Greene has emerged not just as an embarrassment but a challenge for the GOP, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy now forced to weigh whether to maintain his policy of sanctioning members who make dangerous statements.

Senate Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In a closely divided Congress, the Senate’s Mischief Makers could thwart their leaders' best-laid plans with their own agendas.

Why it matters: On Wednesday night, we shared a list of House members who our leadership sources on the Hill consider some of the top troublemakers. But their Senate counterparts may be even more impactful in a 50-50 chamber, where Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tiebreaking vote.

Jan 29, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Cori Bush moves office away from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for "team's safety"

Marjorie Taylor Greene. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Democratic Rep. Cori Bush announced Friday that she has moved her office away from QAnon-supporting conspiracy theorist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene “for the safety” of her team.

Driving the news: The Missouri congresswoman said Greene and her staff "berated" her after she confronted the Republican for not wearing a mask in a Capitol Hill tunnel earlier this month.

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