Friday, May 14, 2021

Republican senators join bid to block certification of Biden victory

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At least a dozen Republican senators will oppose certification of the electoral college votes next week in a last-minute attempt to overturn the November election results before Joe Biden is sworn in as 46th US President Jan.20.

On Saturday, seven Republican senators, including Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and James Lankford of Oklahoma, as well as four elected senators, said in a joint statement that they would oppose the counting and certification process of the Electoral college. votes in Congress.

Citing unsubstantiated reports of widespread electoral fraud, senators said they would call for an election commission “to conduct a 10-day emergency audit of election results in disputed states.”

Josh Hawley, the Republican senator from Missouri, said last week that he would oppose the electoral college certification process, in a statement that sparked outrage from many fellow Republicans.

Voters gathered in state capitals and the District of Columbia last month to formally select Mr. Biden as President-elect of the United States, and their ballots are expected to 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 232 from Mr. Trump.

But Mr. Trump and his allies have repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that the election was rigged.

“Election fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, even though its scale and scope are disputed,” senators said in their statement on Saturday. “Whatever the measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election surpass any in our lives.”

Senators’ statement came just hours after a federal judge rejected a lawsuit brought against Mike Pence by Republican House member Louie Gohmert, intended to overturn the election result.

By opposing the certification process, senators are breaking with Mitch mcconnell, the top Senate Republican, who last month congratulated Biden on his victory.

Several other Republicans have distanced themselves from efforts by their colleagues to overturn the election results and accused lawmakers of being blindly loyal to the president in order to curry favor with his supporters ahead of their possible presidential offers in 2024 and beyond. .

Ben Sasse, a Republican senator from Nebraska, issued a scathing open letter last week saying, “The president and his allies are playing with fire.”

Mr Sasse compared his colleagues opposed to the certification process to ‘arsonists’, adding:’ Let’s be clear what’s going on here: we have a group of ambitious politicians who believe there is a quick way to tap into the grassroots. populist president without doing any real, long-term damage. “

While the 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 house will be determined by two second-round races to be held in Georgia on Tuesday, where outgoing Republicans David Perdue and Kelly loeffler face Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

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