Eleven GOP senators and elected senators will seek to delay confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump in the electoral college during a formal joint session of Congress on Wednesday, they said in a statement.
The Senators, led by Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, cited allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election for which they presented no evidence and which have been repeatedly rejected by courts across the country.
The Justice Department said it found no evidence of widespread fraud in the elections.
Efforts to reverse the latest of dozen Republican attempts to undo Trump’s loss are unlikely to change the electoral college’s record, which Biden won between 306 and 232. Biden is expected to be inaugurated on January 20th.
In their statement, the senators said they would object to the certification of voters from “controversial states” unless Congress sets up a commission to review those states’ elections. The commission would conduct a “10-day emergency audit,” they wrote.
“Once completed, individual states would evaluate the results of the commission and, if necessary, could convene a special legislative session to confirm a change in their vote,” the senators said in the statement.
Mike Gwin, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, said in a statement, “This stunt will not change the fact that President-elect Biden will be sworn in on Jan. 20, and these unsubstantiated claims have already been examined and rejected by Trump’s own attorney general , Dozens of courts and election officials from both parties. “
Marc Elias, a Democratic election attorney who has overseen the Biden campaign’s response to many of the lawsuits against the 2020 election, wrote in a post on Twitter that there is “no way” that the GOP efforts will “change the election result.” .
The Senators who signed the declaration are Cruz, Ron Johnson, R-Wis., James Lankford, R-Okla., Steve Daines, R-Mont., John Kennedy, R-La., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn . and Mike Braun, R-Ind.
The elected Senators who signed it are Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama. The elected senators will officially take office on Sunday.
Wednesday’s joint congressional session, usually a formality, takes place when lawmakers are required to officially count the electoral college votes given to each presidential candidate and announce the winner.
Vice President Mike Pence will chair the session as President of the Senate. Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, said the vice president “shares concerns of millions of Americans about electoral fraud and irregularities in recent elections.”
If at least one senator and one member of the House of Representatives object to the results of a state, the joint session is suspended and the House and Senate meet separately for a maximum of two hours to consider the objection. A majority of both houses of Congress must approve the objection and reject the votes of the electoral college.
“The Vice President applauds the efforts by members of the House and Senate to use the authority required by law to raise objections and present evidence to Congress and the American people on January 6,” Short wrote in a statement on Saturday.
While the Republicans control the 100-member Senate, the Democrats hold a majority in the House of Representatives, making it virtually impossible for an objection to have a realistic chance of success.
In their statement, the senators acknowledge that their plan has little chance of success and that they “expect most, if not all, Democrats and perhaps more than a few Republicans” to vote against them.
In a post on Twitter, the campaign wrote “THANK YOU!” and listed the names of all eleven current and incoming Senators, as well as Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who previously said he would object to electoral college certification.
“It is encouraging to see so many patriots emerge calling for an investigation into the rampant electoral fraud and irregularities we saw on November 3rd,” Jenna Ellis, senior legal advisor for the campaign, said in a statement.
Efforts to reverse Biden’s victory have drawn fire from the Democrats and an increasing number of Republicans. In December, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Urged his party not to object to the results of the electoral college.
“The electoral college has spoken. So today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden,” McConnell said on December 15, after the electoral college officially confirmed Biden’s victory and weeks after NBC News and other major media outlets announced the outcome of the race.
John Thune, RS.D., has repeatedly said that Trump’s efforts to ditch the results are likely to go down like a “shot dog”.
Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the 2012 GOP presidential candidate, said Hawley’s move was “disappointing and destructive”.
Following Saturday’s announcement, Senator Pat Toomey, R-Penn. Said that Hawley and Cruz “are undermining the right of the people to choose their own leaders”.
“The senators justify their intention by saying that there have been many allegations of fraud. But allegations of fraud from a losing campaign cannot justify overturning an election,” Toomey said. “They do not acknowledge that these allegations were heard in courtrooms across America and not supported by evidence.”
Toomey added that he voted for Trump and approved him for re-election. “But on Wednesday I intend to vigorously defend our form of government by opposing these efforts to disenfranchise millions of voters in my state and others,” he said.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said in a statement earlier in the day that she would vote to count the electoral college’s votes.
“I took an oath to support and defend the United States Constitution, and I will do it on January 6 – just as I want to do every day as I serve the people of Alaska,” Murkowski said.
“The courts and state lawmakers have all done their duty to hear legal allegations and have found nothing to justify reversing the results,” she added. “I urge my colleagues from both parties to acknowledge this and, together with me, maintain confidence in the electoral college and our elections so that we can ensure that we continue to have the confidence of the American people.”
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