Friday, February 3, 2023

Despite Trump’s protests, Congress should confirm Biden’s election victory

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President Donald Trump’s extraordinary effort to overthrow the presidential election comes before Congress as lawmakers meet for a joint session to confirm the The electoral college vote won by Joe Biden.

Wednesday’s generally routine procedure will be anything but a political confrontation unheard of since the aftermath of the civil war as Trump makes a desperate effort to stay in power. The president’s Republican allies in the House and Senate plan to oppose the Election results, responding to supporters’ call to “fight for Trump” as he holds a rally outside the White House. It rocks the party.

The long-drawn-out effort is almost certain to fail, defeated by bipartisan majorities in Congress ready to accept the results.Biden, which won the Electoral College 306-232, is expected to be inaugurated on January 20.

“The most important part is that in the end, democracy will prevail here,” Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, among those handling the proceedings, said in an interview.

The joint session of Congress, required by law, will meet at 1 p.m. EST under a vigilant and restless nation – months after the November 3 election, two weeks before the traditional peaceful transfer of power of the inauguration and in the context of an outbreakCOVID-19[female[femininepandemic.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has warned his party about the challenge, is expected to make his first remarks. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who was to initiate debates on her side of the Capitol, described the day of “enormous historical significance”. It is about “ensuring confidence in our democratic system,” she said in a letter to her colleagues.

But he isVice President Mike Pencewho will be closely watched while chairing the session.

Despite Trump’s repeated allegations of electoral fraud, election officials and hisformer attorney generalsaid there were no issues at a scale that would change the outcome. All states havecertified their resultsas fair and accurate, by Republican and Democratic officials.

Pence has a largely ceremonial role, opening the sealed envelopes of the statements after they are transported in mahogany boxes used for the occasion, and reading the results aloud. But he comes under increasing pressure from Trump to tip him in favor of the president, although he has no power to influence the outcome.

While other vice presidents, including Al Gore and Richard Nixon, have also presided over their own defeats, Pence supports those Republican lawmakers who question the 2020 outcome.

“I hope our great vice president will come for us,” Trump said at a rally in Georgia this week. “He’s a great guy. Of course, if he doesn’t pass, I won’t like him that much.

This is not the first time that lawmakers have challenged the results. Democrats did so in 2017 and 2005. But the intensity of Trump’s challenge is unlike anything in modern times, and a wave of current and elected GOP officials are warning that the confrontation sows distrust of the government. government and erodes Americans’ faith in democracy.

“There is no constitutionally viable way for Congress to overturn an election,” said Sen. Tim Scott, RS.C., announcing his refusal to join the effort on the eve of the session.

Yet more than a dozen Republican senators, led by Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas, as well as up to 100 House Republicans, are pushing to raise objections to the state’s results of the victory of Biden.

Under the rules of the joint session, any objection to a state’s electoral count must be submitted in writing by at least one member of the House and one member of the Senate for consideration. Each objection will force two hours of deliberation in the House and Senate, ensuring a long day.

Republican House lawmakers sign objections to electoral votes in six states – Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Arizona will likely be the first to be challenged as state counts are announced alphabetically, and Cruz has said he will join House Republicans in opposing that state.

Hawley said he would oppose the Pennsylvania election results, nearly securing a second two-hour debate despite resistance from Republican State Senator Pat Toomey, who said Biden’s victory tally was exact.

Senator Kelly Loeffler can challenge the results in her state of Georgia. But it’s unclear whether any of the other senators will oppose another state, as lawmakers were still strategizing.

Democrats have a majority in the House and the Republican-led Senate is divided on the issue. Biparty majorities in both houses should firmly reject the objections.

The Cruz-led group promises to oppose unless Congress agrees to form a commission to investigate the election, but that seems unlikely.

Those with Cruz are the senses. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Steve Daines of Montana, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Mike Braun of Indiana, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama.

Trump has vowed to “fight like hell” to stay in power. He told a rally in Georgia that voters voting for Biden “won’t take this White House!”

Many Republicans challenging the results said they were trying to give voice to voters across the country who do not trust the election result and want to see lawmakers fight for Trump.

Hawley defended his role, saying his constituents have been “loud and clear” about their distrust of the election. “It is my responsibility as a senator to voice their concerns,” he wrote to his colleagues.

As criticism mounted, Cruz insisted his goal was “not to annul the election” but to investigate allegations of voting problems. He produced no new evidence.

Hawley and Cruz are both potential 2024 presidential candidates, vying for Trump’s supporter base.

Capitol Hill officials are calling on lawmakers to arrive early, due to security measures taken with protesters in Washington. Visitors, who typically fill galleries to watch historical debates, will not be allowed under COVID-19 restrictions.

More to read absolutely technological coverage of Fortune:


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