A contentious session of Congress is anticipated on January 6 when it meets to formally count the votes cast by the Electoral College, as one senator and a large number of Republicans say they will vote in opposition and more.
Plus: Biden inauguration will feature Memorial for COVID-19 victims; Pence asks the judge to throw out GOP lawmaker’s bid to overturn election.
Contentious session anticipated for electoral vote confirmation on January 26
Congress will meet on Wednesday, January 6, to formally count the votes cast by the Electoral College, but the session is expected to be a contentious one, as lawsuits have already been filed and at least one senator and a large number of Republicans in the House have already said they plan to vote against counting the electoral votes.
The votes cast across the nation by the electoral college came to 306 for Joe Biden and 232 for President Donald Trump, with 270 needed to win the White House, USA Today reported. The formal meaning is required by the U.S. Constitution and represents one of the last opportunities for president Trump and other lawmakers to protest against his laws.
Large number of House Republicans plan to vote against electoral votes, at least one senator plans to object
According to a report by CNN, who spoke to two unnamed Republican members of the House of Representatives, at least 140 House Republicans plan to vote against counting the electoral votes on January 6, the date Congress is scheduled to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Senator Hawley will object
On Wednesday, Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri announced he will object when Congress counts the votes. At least one house member and Senator are required to mount an objection when Congress counts the votes, CNN reported.
An objection would force lawmakers in both the House and the Senate to vote on whether to accept the results of Biden’s victory.
Hawley also pledged this week to challenge results in Pennsylvania and other battleground states, arguing they failed to follow established election law, Fox reported. The objection will likely cause a delay in the certification of Biden’s victory.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) called Hawley’s move “outrageous” and said during an interview with MSNBC that it “borders on sedition or treason.”
Pence asks judge to throw out bid by GOP lawmaker to give VP more power to overturn election
On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence asked a federal judge to reject a bid by Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and other Republicans that would expand the VP’s role in counting states’ electoral votes. The move would effectively allow the vice president to overturn the electoral victory of President-elect Joe Biden.
“A suit to establish that the Vice President has discretion over the count, filed against the Vice President, is a walking legal contradiction,” an attorney from the Department of Justice attorney representing Pence wrote in the filing.
The vice president’s role in the electoral meeting is typically mostly a ceremonial one. It is governed by an 1887 federal law known as the Electoral Count Act.
However, the lawsuit brought forth Gohmert and other Republicans seeking to invalidate the law as an unconstitutional constraint on the vice president’s authority to choose among competing claims of victory when state-level election results are disputed, The Hill reported.
Biden inauguration will feature a memorial to COVID-19 victims
At the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, a memorial to honor the COVID-19 victims is being planned. As part of the memorial, plans include a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to be held on January 19, a day before Biden is inaugurated on January 20, WFLA8 reported.
In addition, the presidential inaugural committee is also inviting communities around the nation to join Washington in lighting up buildings and ringing church bells at 5:30 p.m. in “a national moment of unity and remembrance.”