Conservative lawmakers in both chambers of the US Congress launched yet another bid on Wednesday to prevent US President-elect Joe Biden from taking oath on Jan 20.
Supporters of the outgoing US President Donald Trump needed a senator and a member of the House of Representatives to challenge the election results, and on Wednesday a Republican senator — Josh Hawley of Missouri — offered to back the move.
A group of conservative lawmakers in the House have already pledged to back Trump’s move to overturn the results of the presidential election.
Although Senator Hawley’s endorsement completes the process, other Republican senators also have indicated their intention to back President Trump’s move.
The letter that Congressman Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, sent to the House and Senate leaderships, has the signatures of 18 congressmen and women. In the letter, they wrote that they want Congress to “hold an election fraud hearing ahead of the Jan 6 electoral college vote submissions”.
“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on Jan 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws,” Senator Hawley said in his statement.
All 438 members of the House and 100 Senators will meet on Jan 6 to consider and endorse the Dec 14 proceedings when all 538 electors met in the state capitals to cast their votes. A total of 306 electors voted for Biden while 232 voted for Trump.
If Congress meets on Jan 6 to consider submissions of the electoral votes, Biden will be confirmed and will take oath as the 46th president on Jan 20.
As the US media pointed out, the objections raised on Wednesday are unlikely to change the outcome of the election, but they can delay Biden’s affirmation.
Democrats, who have a majority in the House, have already said they will reject the move and multiple Republican senators have also urged Trump to end his efforts to undo the results.
Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have also pointed out that Biden has beaten Trump in the popular vote too — winning 81,283,485 votes against his Republican rival’s 74,223,744.
Reports in the US media suggest Republican lawmakers want to avoid being asked to vote on whether to side with Trump or with the popular will of the voters. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has privately urged Senate Republicans not to join the move to undo election results.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune has argued against it publicly, but Trump still wants the Republicans to support him on Jan 6.