Congress certifies Electoral College tally confirming Biden as the 46th president of the United States
The friendly gesture, apparently instigated by Pelosi, came after the House and Senate certified President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win, bringing to end a long, difficult day. Pence presides over the Senate.
The two also had a brief conversation following the certification and they appeared to thank each other.
The certification, which is a formality in most election years, was poised to be delayed by objections from some Republican lawmakers to the results in a handful of battleground states.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Vice President Mike Pence talk before a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to confirm the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Associated Press)
However, after Congress began the process Wednesday, a group of Trump supporters breached the Capitol building, forcing some to shelter in place and others to be evacuated.
When Capitol police finally removed the rioters, Congress went back into session to continue the certification process. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other lawmakers vowed they would not be "intimidated" by the rioters.
After objections to the results in Arizona and Pennsylvania were debated and defeated, Congress certified Biden’s win around 3:40 a.m. ET Thursday.
Pelosi and Pence have not always seen eye to eye and the small gesture was a leap from some tense exchanges between the Democrat and some Republicans, including last year’s State of the Union address when she ripped up her copy of President Trump’s remarks following his speech.