Congress certified early Thursday morning Joe Biden’s election victory over President Donald Trump, who has stated he will peacefully transition out of the Whitehouse on January 20.
The certification of Biden’s 306 electoral college votes was delayed for hours after lawmakers were evacuated when individuals from pro-trump protests in DC turned violent and breached the Capitol building Wednesday afternoon. Shortly before 4 a.m. EST Thursday, lawmakers finished their work, confirming Biden as the President-elect. Vice President Mike Pence, presiding over the joint session, announced the tally of 306-232.
Before confirming Biden’s win, objections to his victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania were brought up—and subsequently squashed—during the joint-session of Congress. Other planned objections were dropped by several Republican Senators after Wednesday’s unrest.
Trump, who had yet to concede the election, said in a statement immediately after the vote that there will be a smooth transition of power on Inauguration Day. “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement posted to Twitter by an aide. One Republican lawmaker publicly called for invoking the 25th Amendment to force Trump from office before Biden is inaugurated (MSN).
Congress reconvened late Wednesday, with lawmakers decrying the actions that defaced the Capitol and vowing to finish confirming the Electoral College vote for Biden’s election through the night. Pence reopened the Senate and directly addressed the demonstrators: “You did not win.” Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the “failed insurrection” underscored lawmakers’ duty to finish the count. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would show the world “what America is made of” with the outcome (The Columbian).
The violence at the Capitol resulted in the shooting death of a female rioter, one police officer, and over 50 arrests, and widespread destruction. Biden called the chaos “an unprecedented assault unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times,” in a Wednesday address. He also said the lawlessness at the Capitol didn’t represent the “true America” but was instead the work of a “small number of extremists” (NY Post).
ARTICLE: CHAD LATTANZIO
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP