December 15, 2020 11:07:21 PM
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday congratulated Democrat Joe Biden as president-elect, saying the Electoral College “spoke.”
The Republican leader’s statement, made in a speech in the Senate, ends the weeks of silence for the defeat of President Donald Trump. He came a day after the voters met and officially declared Biden’s electoral victory. “I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden,” McConnell said.
“Many of us hoped that the presidential election would yield a different result,” he said. “But our system of government has the processes to determine who will take the oath on January 20. The Electoral College spoke “.
McConnell called Biden someone “dedicated to public service for many years.”
He also congratulated Elected Vice President Kamala Harris, saying that “all Americans can be proud that our nation has a woman elected Vice President for the first time.”
“Our country officially has an elected president and an elected vice president … the Electoral College has spoken” – here is Mitch McConnell in the Senate, who congratulates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for their victory over Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/LiBP1ULLWV
– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 15, 2020
McConnell prefaced his remarks with radical praise for what he described as Trump’s “endless” accomplishments during his four-year term. He said Trump and Vice President Mike Pence “deserve our thanks.”
The Senate leader cited Trump’s nomination and subsequent Senate confirmation of three Supreme Court justices, among other accomplishments.
McConnell’s remarks followed a rally of leading Republicans who said Monday for the first time that Biden is the winner of the presidential election, essentially abandoning President Trump’s assault on the outcome after the Electoral College certified the vote.
For his part, Trump continued on Tuesday to support his unfounded allegations of “electoral fraud” in a new tweet.
With states claiming the results, Republicans faced an essential choice to declare Biden the president-elect, as the bill showed, or to keep quiet while Trump ran a potentially damaging campaign to overthrow the election.
“At some point you have to deal with music,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, NO. 2 GOP leaders. “Once the Electoral College solves the problem today, it is time for everyone to move on.” Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, chairman of the inaugural committee, said the panel would “now deal with Vice President Biden as president-elect.”
Just last week, Republicans on the inaugural committee refused to make it public. He said Monday’s Electoral College vote “was significant.”
The return comes almost six weeks after election day. Many Republicans passed the time in silence, allowing Trump to take on an unprecedented challenge to the nation’s cherished voting system.
Some GOP lawmakers have vowed to fight until January 6 when Congress votes to accept or reject the results of the Electoral College. Others said Trump’s legal battles should continue to resolve until the day of the inauguration, January 20.
“It’s a very, very narrow path for the president,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., a top ally of Trump. “But in saying that, I think we will let those legal challenges unfold.”
Historians and election officials have warned that Trump’s baseless allegations of election fraud threaten to erode Americans’ faith in the electoral system and that lawmakers have a responsibility, under oath, to defend the constitution.
“The campaign to overturn the result is a dangerous thing,” said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public policy at Princeton.
“This is a Republican operation, not a presidential operation,” Zelizer said. “Without their silence, he could not do what he does.”
Trump is trying to cast the votes of thousands of Americans, especially those who voted by mail, in dozens of lawsuits that have largely failed. His legal team claims irregularities, even though Attorney General William Barr, who abruptly resigned on Monday, said there was no evidence of widespread fraud that would change the election results. State election officials, including Republicans, said the election was fair and valid.
In a decisive blow to Trump’s legal efforts, the Supreme Court last week refused to consider two of his cases challenging the electoral process in key states. About 120 Republicans in the House have signed this failed lawsuit in Texas, asking the Supreme Court to go to court to throw election results in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia.
GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who volunteered to argue the case before the Supreme Court, is holding a town hall meeting on Monday, demanding “participation in the fight for integrity” elections.
A House Republican, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama has vowed to challenge the results of the Electoral College on January 6, when Congress convenes a joint session to receive the result.
At that time, any challenge in Congress should be raised by at least one member of the House and Senate. It is unclear whether any GOP senator will join the process. It seems very unlikely that there is enough congressional support to overturn the election.
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