The Senate voted 93 to six to dismiss the objection raised by Republican Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
Congress resumed counting Electoral College votes Wednesday night after President-elect Joe Biden’s assertion process as the winner of the 2020 election was paused for more than five hours while lawmakers were forced to lock down. by a pro-Trump mob that invaded the US Capitol Police.
Only six Republicans voted in favor of the objection, after several other Republicans who had planned to join them changed their minds after the riots.
Both the Senate and the House resumed their sessions to consider an objection to the Arizona election results after the lengthy delay, and the House was still scheduled to vote on the objection.
Vice President Mike Pence, who was evacuated from the Senate early Wednesday, returned to preside over the Senate session.
“For those who wreaked havoc on our Capitol today, they didn’t win,” he said as the Senate session resumed.
“As we meet again in this chamber, the world will once again witness the strength and strength of our democracy, even after the unprecedented violence and vandalism on this Capitol.”
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has rebuffed Trump’s effort to use the joint session to overturn the election results, said Congress “has faced far greater threats than the unhinged crowd we saw today.”
“They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed,” said the Kentucky Republican.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blamed Trump for “much of the blame” for the violence and riots on Wednesday.
“This mafia was a good part of President Trump, incited by his words, his lies,” said the New York Democrat.
“Today’s events almost certainly wouldn’t have happened without him.”
As congressional leaders vowed to finish counting Electoral College votes, many of the senators who had planned to oppose the results of the elections from various states said they were no longer doing so.
“I think things changed dramatically today,” said Sen. Mike Braun, an Indiana Republican who was one of the objectors.
“Any point you made earlier should suffice. (Let’s put) this ugly day behind.”
Sen. Kelly Loeffler, the Georgia Republican who lost her Senate race Tuesday, said she had prepared to object to the results of her home state’s presidential election, but no longer planned to do so after the riots.
“The violence, anarchy and the siege of the corridors of Congress are abhorrent and constitute a direct attack on what my objection was intended to protect, the sanctity of the American democratic process,” Loeffler said.
Two other Republicans who planned to object, Senators Steve Daines of Montana and James Lankford of Oklahoma, issued a joint statement saying they were dropping their objections.
“Now we need all of Congress to come together and vote to certify the election results,” the senators said.
Not all Republicans abandoned their objections.
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, who was the first Republican senator to announce an objection, condemned the violence but argued that the full Senate was the right place to debate the allegations surrounding the election.
House Republicans offered a similar sentiment when that House debate resumed.
Hawley still plans to object to Pennsylvania’s results, a spokesperson said, which would force a second round of debate and voting on the objection.
Other Republicans who voted against the Arizona results were Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Roger Marshall of Texas, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama and Cruz.
Both Republicans and Democrats condemned the protesters for violating the US Capitol, and several blamed Trump, who lobbied for Republicans and Pence to use the joint session of Congress to overturn the election result, for the dangerous situation that developed.
Inside the riots in the US Capitol
“We came together because of the hurt pride of a selfish man and the outrage of supporters who deliberately misinformed over the past two months and moved into action this very morning,” said Sen. Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah and Republican presidential candidate. in 2012.
“What happened today was an insurrection incited by the president of the United States,” Romney added, warning that those who voted in favor of Trump’s objections “will forever be seen as complicit in an unprecedented attack on our democracy.”
Speaking in Delaware, Biden called on Trump to demand an “end to this siege.”
“Our democracy is under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we have seen in modern times, an assault on a citadel of freedom: the Capitol itself,” he said.
Trump later urged protesters in a video to “go home” while repeating his unsubstantiated claims about a stolen election.
“You have to go home now. We have to have peace,” Trump said. “We have to have public order.”
Chaos erupted after McConnell issued a strong rebuke of Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud on Wednesday, warning his fellow Republicans of the damage his efforts to try to reverse Biden’s elections could do to democracy.
“The Constitution gives us a limited role here in Congress. We can’t just declare ourselves the national board of elections on steroids,” McConnell said in the Senate.
“The voters, the courts and the states have spoken. All have spoken. If we invalidate them, it would damage our Republic forever.”
McConnell had earlier opened a push from fellow Republicans that was doomed to fail, with Democrats and a significant number of Republicans intending to reject all objections.
Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, tweeted a thread against voting against the election results, describing it as “the speech I will give today from an undisclosed location.”
“Today’s vote is not a protest; today’s vote is literally to revoke elections! Voting to revoke state-certified elections would be the opposite of what state rights Republicans have always advocated for.” Paul said.
During the brief Senate debate, Cruz, who joined House Republicans’ objection to the Arizona results, noted that polls have shown millions of Americans believe the elections were rigged – polls that have been fueled by Trump’s repeated false claims about the election outcome.
Cruz argued that he is not asking to “set aside the election results,” although Trump clearly is, but Cruz lobbied instead for an electoral commission to investigate allegations of voter fraud. However, Democrats and many of Cruz’s fellow Republicans have argued that Congress has no role to interfere in state elections.
While there is no evidence of widespread electoral fraud, Trump and his campaign have been pushing false and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories that the election was rigged against him. The president and his allies lost dozens of lawsuits across the country, both alleging fraud and challenging the constitutionality of altered state election laws due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As his losses mounted since November 3, Trump has gone after the courts that ruled against him, state election officials, and lawmakers who have not embraced his conspiracy theories or attempted to override the will of the voters, Senate Republicans who oppose your opposition. Democratic push to override the Electoral College result and even Pence, who presided over the joint session of Congress on Wednesday before being evacuated.
Trump addressed his supporters who converged on Washington near the White House on Wednesday morning, continuing to pressure Pence to go beyond his authority while encouraging his supporters to march on Capitol Hill before the riots.
“I hope Mike does the right thing,” Trump said at the Ellipse rally. “If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election.”
But Pence wrote in a letter to lawmakers Wednesday that he did not have the “unilateral authority” to intervene.
“Our Founders were deeply skeptical of concentrations of power and created a Republic based on the separation of powers and checks and balances under the United States Constitution,” Pence wrote.
“Giving the vice president unilateral authority to decide presidential races would be completely contrary to that design.”
The scrutiny of Electoral College votes by Congress is usually little more than an afterthought, after the Electoral College officially votes for president in December. Only twice since the process was established in the 19th century have votes been imposed on Electoral College results, and several other potential challenges have quickly fizzled out because no senator joined them.