Sen. Hawley and Some 80 GOP Reps. Trigger Debate Over Pa. Electoral Vote
Thursday, 07 January 2021 12:28 AM
Pennsylvania's 20 Electoral College votes were held up early Thursday morning after Sen. Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, and some 80 members of the House GOP raised a challenge to the award of them to President-elect Joe Biden.
With Biden having 244 electoral votes certified in his name, to President Donald Trump's 157, a joint session of ther House and Senate seemed to be speeding through the Electoral College certification that would affirm Biden's win in the Nov. 3 election.
This, after the hearing was disrupted for hours by an unprecedented assault on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters backing the incumbent's assertion that the election had been stolen via fraud.
That siege turned violent, with armed police in riot gear and eventually members of the National Guard on hand to quell the unrest. Lawmakers had to be evacuated to safe locations; four civilians died, including one by gunshot, and more than 50 were arrested. And police also found pipe bombs at nearby headquarters of both political parties.
But when the proceedings were ultimately able to resume, it was with lawmakers resolute about not letting violence and rioting disrupt the gears of government.
The House now has two hours to debate the Pennsylvania complaint. The Senate also has two hours, but Hawley had indicated he was going to cede his time, bringing a faster resolution in that chamber.
Indeed, a handful of Republicans backed down from challenges to the awarding of electoral votes. CNN said Pennsylvania was likely the last state that would be subject to debate over those votes.
Michigan and Nevada objections failed because a senator did not sign on, alongside House Republicans, in challenging the allocation of those electoral votes to Biden.