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WASHINGTON - Republican lawmakers are defending the No. 3 House GOP leader over a speech have gave 12 years ago to a white supremacist group.

Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana says the speech was a mistake he now regrets. Party leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner, have backed him.

Several rank-and-file lawmakers are adding their support, including Utah's Mia Love, the first black female Republican elected to the House.

Love tells ABC's "This Week" that Scalise has shown humility and apologized, and should remain in leadership.

GOP leaders aim to put the controversy behind them when the new Republican-controlled Congress convenes Tuesday.

Scalise has condemned the group's views and said that as a state legislator in 2002 he didn't always know details of the groups he was speaking to.

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