House minority leader Nancy Pelosi defended the altered photo, taken by Getty Images, as an accurate historical record of the women sworn in Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The representatives gathered on the Capitol steps Thursday, but four were running late. Their photos were later inserted, in the back row, using a computer program.
A spokesman for Pelosi cautioned news organizations the portrait had been altered, the media website Poynter said.
Among the members of Congress whose picture was inserted was Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., and Friday the South Florida Sun Sentinel referred to the photographic magic as "a solution worthy of Stalinist Russia: Photoshopping in the missing four."