Congress continued certification of the Electoral College voting results into Thursday morning, after being driven from the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters intent on disrupting the certification process.
President Trump has refused to concede defeat to Joe Biden in the general election, alleging Democrats “stole” the election via widespread voter fraud. Republican lawmakers from the House and Senate agreed to voice objections to state electoral results; however, earlier in the day Trump incited a crowd of thousands of supporters to demonstrate on Capitol hill.
The demonstration quickly devolved into a riot as the mob overwhelmed police, broke into the Capitol building, and forced lawmakers to evacuate. By the time the riot finished, 14 Washington, D.C., police officers were injured and one demonstrator was shot and killed. Lawmakers subsequently insisted on returning to the Capitol to continue the certification of the Electoral College votes.
Following the riots on Capitol Hill, several senators withdrew their objections to certification of the election results in Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada. However, earlier on Wednesday night, objections to the results in Arizona and Pennsylvania were sustained.
While the House debated the objection to Pennsylvania’s results, the Senate voted to skip debate, and threw out the objection 92-7. The Senate and House both debated the objection to Arizona’s results, and each chamber voted down the objection by wide margins.
Senator Kelly Loeffler (R., Ga.), who was defeated by Democrat Raphael Warnock in Tuesday night’s election, said she had a change of heart after witnessing the violence unleashed on the Capitol earlier in the day.
“When I arrived in Washington this morning, I fully intended to object to the certification of the electoral votes,” Loeffler said. “However, the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider, and I cannot now, in good conscience, object.”
Senators Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R., Texas), who led initial efforts to object to the Electoral College results, both voted in favor of the objections to Arizona’s and Pennsylvania’s electoral votes. The two were joined by Senators Hyde Smith (R., Miss.), Roger Marshall (R., Ka.), and Tommy Tuberville (R., Ala.).
John Kennedy (R., La.) voted only for the Arizona objection while Rick Scott (R., Fla.) and Cynthia Lummis (R., Wy.) voted only for the Pennsylvania objection.
The House, including a majority of Republican representatives, voted down a proposal to reject Arizona’s certification of the state’s election results. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) was among those voting in favor of the objection to Arizona’s certification.
“We will follow the Constitution and the law and the process for hearing valid concerns about election integrity,” McCarthy said in a floor speech. “We will do it with respect. We will respect your opinion. We will respect what you say, and we’re willing to listen to it.”
Trump ally Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) voted against the Arizona objection, after indicating she would sustain the objection earlier on Wednesday.