At least a dozen Republican senators will object to the Electoral College’s certification of votes next week as part of a last-minute attempt to reverse the November election results before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th on January 20 president of the USA.
On Saturday, seven Republican senators, including Ted Cruz from Texas, Ron Johnson from Wisconsin and James Lankford from Oklahoma, as well as four elected senators said in a joint statement that they would object to the Electoral College counting and certification process. votes in Congress.
Citing baseless reports of widespread voter fraud, senators said they would call an election committee “to conduct a 10-day rush check of election results in the disputed states.”
Josh Hawley, the Republican Senator from Missouri, said separately last week that he would object to the Electoral College certification process, in a statement that sparked outrage among many fellow Republicans.
Voters gathered in the capital cities and the District of Columbia last month to formally elect Mr. Biden as the US president-elect, and their ballots will be counted and certified by both houses of Congress on Wednesday. Mr. Biden received more than 7 million more votes than Donald Trump on November 3 and 306 electoral votes against Mr. Trump’s 232.
But Trump and his allies have repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that the election was faked.
“Voter fraud is an ongoing challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope is disputed,” the senators said in their statement on Saturday. Regardless, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 elections exceed those of our lives.
The senators’ statement came just hours after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against Mike Pence by Republican House member Louie Gohmert, intended to reverse the election results.
By objecting to the certification process, the senators break with Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican, who congratulated Mr Biden on his victory last month.
Several other Republicans have distanced themselves from their peers’ attempts to reverse the election results, accusing lawmakers of being blindly loyal to the president in order to win the favor of his supporters pending their own possible presidential bids in 2024 and beyond .
Ben Sasse, a Republican senator from Nebraska, published a scathing open letter last week saying, “The president and his allies are playing with fire.”
Mr Sasse compared colleagues who objected to the certification process to “arsonists” and added, “Let’s be clear about what’s going on here: we have a bunch of ambitious politicians who think there is a quick way to destroy the president’s populist base. to tap without actually doing anything, long-lasting damage. “
Pat Toomey, a Republican senator from Pennsylvania, said on Saturday his colleagues are undermining Americans’ right to free and fair elections.
“A fundamental, defining feature of a democratic republic is the right of the people to choose their own leaders,” said Mr Toomey, adding that the efforts of Messrs. Cruz, Hawley and others “directly undermine this right.”
“I voted for President Trump and supported him for re-election,” said Mr Toomey. “But on Wednesday I intend to vigorously defend our form of government by opposing this attempt to deprive millions of voters in my state and in others.”
Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska Republican senator, also said on Saturday she would vote to certify the Electoral College’s votes.
“The courts and state legislatures have all fulfilled their duty to hear legal allegations and have found nothing to justify the results being reversed,” she said in a statement. “I urge my colleagues from both parties to acknowledge this.”
Although new members of Congress will be sworn in on Sunday, it remains unclear whether Republicans will continue to control the Senate. The balance of power in the upper room will be determined by two run-off races held in Georgia on Tuesday, where incumbent Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler will face Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.