Jan. 6 (UPI) — The Senate on Wednesday night time voted to strike down an objection raised in opposition to Arizona’s electoral votes after the method of confirming the results of the 2020 presidential election was delayed for a number of hours attributable to a siege on the Capitol constructing by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Senators voted 93-6 to reject the objection introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar of Wyoming, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and different Republicans difficult Arizona’s electors and prompting Congress to retire to their respective chambers for debate.
Cruz and his fellow Republican Sens. Josh Hawley, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Roger Marshall, John Kennedy and Tommy Tuberville voted to maintain the objection.
Nevertheless, after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, with some making their approach to the Senate flooring as members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence had been evacuated, a number of Republicans mentioned they might not object to the election outcomes.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.; Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont.; and James Lankford, R-Okla., mentioned they may vote to certify the election.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., mentioned she would not object to the election ends in Georgia.
Hawley, one of many first to declare he would reject the election outcomes, mentioned he’ll observe by way of along with his objection to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes.
Any objections to every subsequent state’s electoral votes would require one other spherical of debates in every chamber.
The session resumed on Wednesday night time with Pence condemning the siege that noticed rioters enter the Capitol constructing and the chambers of Congress, prompting a lockdown and delaying the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win for a number of hours.
“We condemn the violence that passed off right here within the strongest attainable phrases. We grieve the lack of life in these hallowed halls in addition to the accidents suffered by those that defended our Capitol in the present day. And we are going to at all times be grateful to the women and men who stayed at their posts to defend this historic place,” he mentioned.
“To those that wreaked havoc in our Capitol in the present day, you didn’t win. Violence by no means wins. Freedom wins and that is nonetheless the Individuals’s Home.”
Senate Republican chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., condemned the group as “unhinged” saying their actions wouldn’t deter Congress from fulfilling its duties.
“They tried to disrupt our democracy, they failed. They failed to aim to hinder a Congress. This failed riot solely underscores how essential the duty earlier than us is for our republic,” he mentioned.
Senate Democratic chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., addressed Individuals who could also be “fearful about the way forward for this nation” following the photographs from the Capitol.
“The divisions in our nation clearly run deep however we’re a resilient, forward-looking and optimistic folks and we are going to start the laborious work of repairing this nation tonight, as a result of right here in America we do laborious issues. In America we at all times overcome our challenges,” he mentioned.
Sen. Jeff Merkley tweeted a photograph of the Electoral Faculty ballots, saying they’d been safely faraway from the Senate flooring.
“If our succesful flooring employees hadn’t grabbed them, they might have been burned by the mob,” he wrote.
Earlier within the day, McConnell argued in opposition to overturning the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election.
“The Structure offers us right here in Congress a restricted position. We can’t merely declare ourselves a nationwide board of elections on steroids. Voters, courts, states have all spoken. They’ve all spoken. If we overrule them it will injury our republic endlessly,” he mentioned.
Then the protesters arrived and the constructing went into lockdown. Congress referred to as a recess and Pence was evacuated.
The plan had been to finish the 2-hour debate on Arizona’s votes, then regroup and proceed the method wherein Pence will hand sealed certificates of states’ licensed outcomes from a wood field to tellers appointed from Congress to learn.
Pence earlier mentioned he would not attempt to upend the electoral vote depend to certify Biden’s victory.
Pence made his place identified in a letter to lawmakers in response to President Donald Trump’s false assertions on Tuesday that his deputy has the facility to “reject fraudulently chosen electors.”
“My oath to assist and defend the Structure constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to find out which electoral votes must be counted and which shouldn’t,” Pence wrote within the letter. “My position as presiding officer is basically ceremonial.”
Trump slammed Pence’s letter on Twitter.
“Mike Pence did not have the braveness to do what ought to have been finished to guard our Nation and our Structure, giving States an opportunity to certify a corrected set of information, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they had been requested to beforehand certify. USA calls for the reality!” he wrote.
The joint session of Congress to certify the votes can be sometimes ceremonial, however, taking their cue from Trump, some Republican lawmakers held up the method with objections.
On Dec. 14, electors from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., solid their votes as decided by November’s normal election, giving Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris 306 electoral votes and Trump and Pence 232.
Donald Trump supporters breach Capitol, riot over election outcomes
A person holds a noose as supporters of President Donald Trump riot on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in protest of Trump’s loss to President-elect Joe Biden. Photograph by Ken Cedeno/UPI |