Joe Biden at the NAACP candidate forum | Andrew Roth
WASHINGTON — The final step in a turmoil-filled 2020 presidential election is set for Wednesday, when Congress will certify election results showing that Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump.
But a series of objections from GOP legislators is expected to stretch that routine process into a much lengthier one — and one that is dividing the Republican Party between those who back Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud and those who do not. Those claims have failed repeatedly in dozens of lawsuits brought by Trump’s legal team.
At least 12 GOP senators and dozens of House Republicans say they intend to object to the Electoral College results as those votes are read, state by state, in a joint session that begins at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday.
That includes U.S. Reps. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Tipton).
“Congress has an obligation to the tens of millions of Americans who have lost faith in our election process to prove that our elections are free, fair, and follow laws in place. We join with our Senate colleagues calling for an Emergency Electoral Commission to perform an emergency audit of the election results in the 10 days before the inauguration,” Walberg and Bergman said in a joint statement.
Freshman U.S. Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Bruce Twp.) also plan to object.
“Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have seen irregularities in the electoral process,” she said in a statement. “Our constitutional republic will fail if our elections aren’t free, fair, and seen as legitimate by the American people. If what I see on Wednesday further confirms the concerns voiced to me by folks in the 10th district, I will follow my Oath of Office and vote accordingly,” she said.
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), who has long acknowledged Biden’s win, issued a statement that he won’t be joining the objection.
“Voters – not judges or politicians – must decide elections. These objections would establish a new precedent allowing the Congress to supersede the will of the people. There have been no cases of fraud discovered that would overturn President-elect Biden’s 154,000 vote victory in Michigan,” Upton said.
Freshman U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) also won’t be objecting.
The positions of every Republican member of Congress from States Newsroom’s 20 states are collected below — as well as the names of the many Republicans who have not yet disclosed whether they will vote to certify Biden as the president-elect.
It’s not yet clear exactly how Wednesday’s process will unfold, but Republicans could raise objections to the results from as many as six swing states: Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nevada.
Not all Republican lawmakers have embraced Trump’s refusal to accept the election results. A dozen House Republicans are pushing back, arguing that Congress has a narrow role in elections and that states are responsible for selecting electors to certify votes.
“To take action otherwise— that is, to unconstitutionally insert Congress into the center of the presidential election process —would amount to stealing power from the people and the states,” lawmakers wrote in a letter, obtained by the publication Punchbowl, to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Sunday.
Republicans signing that letter include Ken Buck of Colorado, Ann Wagner of Missouri, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, Ashley Hinson of Iowa and Pete Meijer of Michigan, among others.
“It would, in effect, replace the electoral college with Congress, and in so doing strengthen the efforts of those on the left who are determined to eliminate it or render it irrelevant,” they wrote.
Raising a formal objection to the Electoral College results requires a written document signed by at least one member of the House and one senator. A recognized objection prompts two hours of debate in each chamber, followed by a vote.
While the process may drag out, possibly even into Thursday, those objections are unlikely to change the outcome, with both the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate expected to defeat the challenges.
As that debate plays out inside the Capitol, potentially violent protests are expected in downtown Washington, where militia groups and members of the extremist group the Proud Boys are already gathering to show support for Trump.
Here’s what Republican members of Congress from other States Newsroom states have said publicly about whether they will support certifying the results or will object to that process:
“For certain states I will. The six states we’re talking about, Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia. I will,” he said on Fox News.
“I will be challenging the Electoral College vote when Congress meets next week,” he wrote on Twitter.
- Rep. David Schweikert
- Rep. Debbie Lesko
“As a representative sworn to defend the U.S. Constitution, it is my responsibility to object to the Electoral College results that were recorded under these circumstances. The American people deserve secure and fair elections. Unfortunately, the 2020 election was neither of those things. I will be voicing my objection on January 6th,” she said in a statement.
“The text of the Constitution is clear. States select electors. Congress does not. Accordingly, our path forward is also clear. We must respect the states’ authority here. Though doing so may frustrate our immediate political objectives, we have sworn an oath to promote the Constitution above our policy goals. We must count the electoral votes submitted by the states,” he wrote in a letter along with a dozen other GOP members.
- Rep. Doug Lamborn
“On January 6th, I’m joining with the fighters in Congress,” he wrote on Twitter. “We’re going to OBJECT to electors from states that didn’t run clean elections.”
“There are too many election irregularities that have occurred across the country to allow this to go by without any objection,” she said on Fox News.
“On January 6th, I will OBJECT,” he wrote on Twitter. “It is up to the state legislatures in the six contested states to move quickly and do what they know is right.”
“I’m taking my responsibility as a Representative very seriously to follow the law, to thoroughly understand constitutional issues and listen to the outrage of nearly 70 million Americans as we approach January 6th,” he wrote on Twitter.
“I will not turn a blind eye to this election fraud on Jan 6th, more to come,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Happy to join in,” he wrote on Twitter. “There is nothing more critical than Americans’ faith in the integrity of the election process.”
“It’s clear that Congress only intends to act when it will hurt President Trump, and I will not go along with this farce. Therefore, in the absence of a Congressional investigation into fraud in the 2020 Presidential election, I will oppose certifying the results,” he wrote on Facebook.
“I will object to the certification process on January 6th and will ask legitimate questions to restore faith in our election system,” he said in a statement. “Unlike my Democratic colleagues, I refuse to turn a blind eye to the fact that several states, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, neglected the oath of their constitution and the United States Constitution by their failure to follow their election laws.”
- Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart
- Rep. Carlos Giménez
- Rep. María Elvira Salazar
- Rep. Neal Dunn
- Rep. Daniel Webster
- Rep. Gus Bilirakis
- Rep. Vern Buchanan
- Rep. Gregory Steube
“If fraud is tolerated, tyranny will ensue!,” he wrote on Twitter. “We cannot afford to be idle. These are the moments that count. We must eradicate election fraud and prosecute the guilty. OBJECT to the electoral certification in Congress on Jan 6!”
“After weeks of researching Georgia’s handling of the 2020 General Election, I have a reasonable and significant doubt that the electors selected to represent Georgia in the electoral college actually reflect the true will of the people of Georgia,” he said in a statement. “Due to the many unanswered and credible charges of potential fraud, highly respected members of the State House and Senate have called for a special session to address the certification of Georgia’s votes. However, no special session has been called. Therefore, on behalf of my colleagues in the Georgia General Assembly, I will be objecting to Georgia’s electors when these votes are presented to the U.S. House of Representatives on January 6, 2021.”
- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene:
“I am writing to highlight the bipartisan nature of the fight for election integrity,” she wrote in a letter along with Rep. Ted Budd. “Not too long ago, prominent Democrats in the House expressed similar sentiments to the ones we will be putting forward on January 6th, starting with yourself. You said in early 2019 that one of the goals of Democrats’ majority was to, ‘restore faith in government, so that people can have confidence that government works for the people.’ I would submit that standing for election integrity would be a great place to start.”
- Rep. Austin Scott
- Rep. Buddy Carter
- Rep. Drew Ferguson IV
- Rep. Rick Allen
- Rep. Andrew Clyde
“Iowa’s elections were run smoothly, and I believe, securely—we have mechanisms in place to count all legal votes and safeguard against fraud,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “However, many of my new colleagues have serious concerns about election mismanagement in their home states. On the 6th, these issues will be raised.”
- Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks
- Rep. Randy Feenstra
- Reps. Tracey Mann, Jacob LaTurner and Ron Estes issued a joint statement that they would object to the Electoral College:
“It is the duty of Congress to certify electors for the presidential election based on the laws passed by state legislators. With several states facing serious allegations of voter fraud and violations of their own state laws, the Kansas Republican delegation in the House will object to the certification of electors in multiple states on Jan. 6. This action is not taken lightly and comes after extensive study and research. Kansans deserve to know that all legal, and only legal, votes were counted. We hope our actions begin to restore the confidence of tens of millions of our fellow Americans that feel their sacred right to vote is under attack.”
- Rep. Steve Scalise
- Rep. Clay Higgins
- Rep. Mike Johnson
- Rep. Garret Graves
- Rep. Andy Harris
- Rep. Bill Huizenga
- Rep. John Moolenaar
- Rep. Jim Hagedorn
- Rep. Tom Emmer
- Rep. Michelle Fischbach
- Rep. Pete Stauber
- Rep. Billy Long, in a statement co-signed by Reps. Jason Smith, Sam Graves, and Vicky Hartzler:
“We don’t take this decision lightly, but we must protect the integrity of each vote cast by every law-abiding Missourian. For every instance of Georgia failing to follow its own state law in verifying signatures, of Pennsylvania accepting mail ballots after the legal deadline set by its state legislature, or folks from outside Nevada casting a ballot in that state—the value of every Missourians’ vote is diminished. That’s not right. And we cannot simply look the other way.”
“I cannot and will not unconstitutionally insert Congress into the presidential election in this manner. This would amount to stealing power from the people and the states. It would, in effect, replace the Electoral College with Congress, and strengthen the efforts of those who are determined to eliminate it or render it irrelevant. At this point, all states have certified their election results and electors and alleged irregularities have been taken to state and federal court over five dozen times and rejected, even by judges appointed by President Trump.”
- Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer
“It is clear that there are widespread, credible allegations of fraud and irregularities in many states, and that these allegations have endangered the American people’s faith in our electoral process,” Rosendale tweeted.
- Rep. Mark Amodei
“Millions of Americans believe there were consequential problems in November’s presidential election. I’ve heard from an overwhelming number of my own constituents, and they share this belief. They witnessed voter safeguards unconstitutionally removed by non-legislative officials. They saw states with no signature verification, no voter ID laws, outdated voter rolls, poll watchers denied access to the count, and ballots accepted long after Election Day had passed.”
“The right to vote in a free and fair election is the cornerstone of our republic. Attempts to undermine this strike at the very heart of a representative government ‘of, by, and for the people.’ I will not be silent.”
“The American people need to have confidence in the integrity of our election process. Currently, millions of people do not trust the outcome of this presidential election because there is incontrovertible evidence of voter irregularity—-if not outright fraud—in multiple states. Furthermore, election laws were changed in numerous states contrary to Article II of the Constitution. These election changes included extending the deadline for mail-in ballots, adding unsecured drop box collection sites, and changes to signature verification measures — processes that are susceptible to increased fraud as spelled out by a bipartisan commission on election reform co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter.”
“The American people need clarity that this election was fair and truly reflective of the will of the people. Unfortunately, the electoral and judicial processes so far have not provided for a thorough vetting. Congress is the last forum for the arguments to be heard in the short-term. For these reasons, I will be objecting to the Electoral College votes certified by the states in question and believe the idea proposed by Senator Cruz and other members of the Senate to immediately appoint an electoral commission to do a ten day audit of the votes cast would, if nothing else, help restore confidence in our elections moving forward.”
“Contrary to what many in the mainstream media would have you believe, this is not about a person, but rather about upholding the Constitution. It very clearly states in Article II Section 1 that state legislatures are charged with writing election laws, not executive officials and judges. Unfortunately multiple states, some more egregiously than others, violated that section of the Constitution. Whether objecting would change the outcome is not the question that must be addressed. It is rather, did certain states follow their constitutional duties in how they chose electors? I believe the answer is ‘no’. Unless we solve this problem now by objecting and calling into question the irregularities in the process this year, it will call into question the integrity of every election this nation faces moving forward.”
- Rep. Dan Bishop says he will object to the Electoral College results from Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin:
“Because the Democrats’ campaign of litigation has tainted some states’ elections, I will join in objections to those states’ electors. I consider this to be an obligation of utmost gravity, predicated on my oath to defend the Constitution, and I hope that the controversy at hand will lead to restoring the administration of elections as the Constitution envisions.”
- Rep. Virginia Foxx
- Rep. Patrick McHenry
“The ultimate arbiter here, the ultimate check and balance is the United States Congress and when something is done in an unconstitutional fashion, which happened in several of these states, we have a duty to step forward and have this debate and have this vote on the 6th of January,” Jordan said in a Fox News appearance.
“I believe fraudulent actions and illegal voting in one state dilutes the power and voice of voters in all states. I do not believe the allegations of fraud and improprieties have gotten their day in court, as many cases were dismissed on procedural grounds, often times citing lack of standing. If the American people could not hear the evidence in court, it is incumbent upon Congress to provide that venue,” Gibbs said in a statement.
“I will support objections to the certification of the Electoral College vote of Pennsylvania, and possibly other states on grounds that they: potentially violated the U.S. Constitution; disregarded their own state election laws; and/or failed to count all legal ballots. The Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media hide behind bullying, spin, and carefully crafted talking points to distract from this fact. But most of the people I represent know the truth— that between the news media acting as the public relations department of the Democrat party, Big Tech’s big thumb on the social media and search results scales, and credible allegations of election fraud in some states, many believe the 2020 election wasn’t fair.”
“On January 6th, I will object to electors from states that failed to uphold the equal protection principle of ‘one person, one vote’ where that failure made the intent of voters difficult to discern: AZ, GA, MI, NV, PA, and WI,” Davidson wrote on Twitter.
“There is no legal basis for Congress to throw out the certified electoral vote and overturn the results of this election,” Gonzalez wrote in a letter to constituents posted on his Twitter page. “While certainly not the conclusion that many would like to hear, it is the only conclusion I can come to as someone committed to Constitutional governance and who takes my oath of office seriously.”
- Rep. Steve Stivers’ office did not respond to questions about the Electoral College certification, but Stivers did issue a statement in November congratulating Biden: “With yesterday’s certification of many states’ results, it’s evident that President Trump has exhausted the due process offered to all candidates.”
- Rep. Steve Chabot
- Rep. Brad Wenstrup
- Rep. Bob Latta
- Rep. Mike Turner
- Rep. Troy Balderson
- Rep. David Joyce
- Reps. Dan Meuser, Scott Perry, Lloyd Smucker, Fred Keller, John Joyce, Guy Reschenthaler, Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, and Mike Kelly:
“The state’s official certification of electors was based upon a flawed system and an inaccurate vote count,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “Thus, very possibly resulting in an erroneous certification. Until these unlawful practices are acknowledged and corrected, we cannot agree to support electors chosen based upon an inaccurate total vote count. The voters of Pennsylvania deserve integrity in the election process and equal protection under the law.”
- Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick
“I believe there’s nothing more important than giving the American people confidence in our election system. While I do share serious concerns about Congress’ Constitutional role in our federalist system of government, if nothing was out of line, what reason do we have to oppose such a motion, so the entire nation can see the evidence presented clearly and make a determination on their own?”
“Earlier this month, I joined many of my freshmen colleagues in signing a letter to Speaker Pelosi that highlighted the importance of guaranteeing every U.S. citizen’s right to vote in a free and fair election and that being key to protecting our constitutional republic. I believe it is the duty of Congress to ensure that right. Multiple states are engaged in litigation and thousands of witnesses have submitted sworn affidavits of reported fraud related to the 2020 presidential election. Our constituents demand that these reported gross violations of our elections process are investigated seriously with the intent of restoring confidence in our electoral process.”
“Many Americans are genuinely concerned and do not have faith in this election. It should be our number one priority to ensure that all Americans have faith in the integrity of our elections. Certifying and moving on without an investigation will only go to further fray and dissolve the trust Americans have in the foundation of our country, our elections.”
“An overwhelming number of people in Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District have asked for a full debate and vote, and I believe that the questions raised are worthy of discussion, evaluation, and debate by the House before a vote for certification,” DesJarlais tweeted.
- Rep. David Kustoff — a spokeswoman said he will release a statement Wednesday
- Rep. Tim Burchett
- Rep. John Rose
“We’re going to keep fighting. I’m going to fight with Mo Brooks from Alabama,” Good said in a Fox News interview, referring to the congressman leading the charge on challenging the election results. “I’m going to fight with the others in Congress who are going to challenge this. We’re going to keep fighting until every legal vote is counted and only legal votes are counted.”
“I am in full support of objecting to electors in order to debate and examine election results in states where constitutional questions have been raised. In fact, in December I joined a majority of my Republican colleagues and Leadership in the House of Representatives in sending an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in reference to Texas v. Pennsylvania, et al. relating to the November general election. Like many of my constituents, I have concerns that several states failed to follow the Constitution in conducting elections and deserve scrutiny to ensure a fair and free election.”
- Rep. Ben Cline
- Rep. Morgan Griffith
“Congress has only a narrow role in the presidential election process. Its job is to count the electors submitted by the states, not to determine which electors the states should have sent,” Gallagher said in a joint statement with other GOP legislators.
- Rep. Bryan Steil
- Rep. Scott Fitzgerald
- Rep. Glenn Grothman
- Rep. Tom Tiffany
- Sen. Marco Rubio
- Sen. Rick Scott
- Sen. Kelly Loeffler:
“The American people deserve a platform in Congress, permitted under the Constitution, to have election issues presented so that they can be addressed,” she said in a statement. “That’s why, on January 6th, I will vote to give President Trump and the American people the fair hearing they deserve and support the objection to the Electoral College certification process. I have also already introduced legislation to establish a commission to investigate election irregularities and recommend election integrity measures, which I will be working to get passed in the Senate. We must restore trust, confidence and integrity in our election system.”
- Sen. Joni Ernst
- Sen. Chuck Grassley
“We must hold accountable any state that disregarded the law or our constitution,” Marshall posted on Twitter. “The Electoral College is only as strong as the states who are entrusted to follow election laws. That is why I will be supporting objection and debate next week.”
- Sen. John Kennedy, in a joint statement with 10 other senators:
“The election of 2020, like the election of 2016, was hard fought and, in many swing states, narrowly decided. The 2020 election, however, featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities. Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed. By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.”
- Sen. Bill Cassidy:
“The 2020 election is over,” he said in a joint bipartisan statement with several senators. “All challenges through recounts and appeals have been exhausted. At this point, further attempts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential election are contrary to the clearly expressed will of the American people and only serve to undermine Americans’ confidence in the already determined election results.”
- Sen. Susan Collins:
“The voters have spoken, and Congress must now fulfill its responsibility to certify the election results,” she said in a joint bipartisan statement with several other senators. “In two weeks, we will begin working with our colleagues and the new Administration on bipartisan, common sense solutions to the enormous challenges facing our country. It is time to move forward.”
“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws. And I cannot vote to certify without pointing out the unprecedented effort of mega corporations, including Facebook and Twitter, to interfere in this election, in support of Joe Biden,” Hawley said in a statement. “At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections. But Congress has so far failed to act.”
- Sen. Roy Blunt:
“I don’t think either of the two efforts has any chance for success, and I actually like to come up with plans that have a chance of being successful,” Blunt told Hill reporters on Sunday.
“An unprecedented number of Americans have significant doubts about the integrity of 2020 presidential election results. Fewer than 45,000 votes spread across three states would alter the vote of the Electoral College. Couple that with the fact that the processes and the way Americans voted was altered at a scale never before imagined outside what the state legislative process intended. There have been continued reports of irregularities with signature verification, different rules for mail-in ballots versus in-person ballots, delayed receipt of ballots, inconsistent curing of ballots, a lack of meaningful access to the polls, the dispute process and counting process for partisan poll watchers. These issues have cast doubt on the legitimacy of the presidential election outcome which needs further investigation for the credibility of our institutions.”
Responded “no” when asked by POLITICO about joining Sen. Hawley’s effort to object.
- Sen. Thom Tillis
“Like nearly half the country, I was disappointed in the election results. Following the election, I supported the Trump campaign’s right to pursue recounts and legal challenges. There were instances of fraud and irregularities, as there are in every presidential election, and those who engaged in that conduct should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But after two months of recounts and legal challenges, not a single state recount changed a result and, of the dozens of lawsuits filed, not one found evidence of fraud or irregularities widespread enough to change the result of the election. This was the finding of numerous Republican-appointed judges and the Trump Administration’s own Department of Justice. Every state has now weighed in and certified its electoral slate based on its vote and the process set out in the Constitution.”
“I acknowledge that this past election, like all elections, had irregularities,” Toomey said. “But the evidence is overwhelming that Joe Biden won this election. His narrow victory in Pennsylvania is easily explained by the decline in suburban support for President Trump and the president’s slightly smaller victory margins in most rural counties. I voted for President Trump and endorsed him for re-election. But, on Wednesday, I intend to vigorously defend our form of government by opposing this effort to disenfranchise millions of voters in my state and others.”
“On behalf of Tennesseans, we are taking a united stand against the tainted electoral results from the recent presidential election. American democracy relies on the consent of the governed. Allegations of voter fraud, irregularities and unconstitutional actions diminish public confidence in what should be a free, fair and transparent process. Protecting the integrity of the electoral process is paramount to preserving trust and legitimacy in the final outcome.”
- Sen. Ron Johnson, during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press”:
“The fact of the matter is that we have an unsustainable state of affairs in this country where we have tens of millions of people that do not view this election result as legitimate. We’ve just come off of four years where the other side refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of President Trump, and here we are again. This is an unsustainable state of affairs right now. That’s all we’re saying is as long as someone will be objecting to this and we’re going to be taking a vote, let’s propose a solution in terms of transparency, investigation, with a commission.”
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