Sen Hawley Says He’ll Object Electoral College–Dem Reps Tried Same in 2017. A Then-VP Biden Shot Them Down.

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley announced Wednesday that he intends to object to the certification of President-elect Joe Biden as President during the electoral college certification process on January 6. GOP leaders have repeatedly voiced their distaste of this tactic arguing that it could tear the party apart. Moreover, they highlight that it is  unlikely to succeed, given the Democrat’s majority in the House of Representatives.

In a statement, the Republican Senator said, “Following both the 2004 and 2016 elections, Democrats in Congress objected during the certification of electoral votes in order to raise concerns about election integrity. They were praised by Democratic leadership and the media when they did. And they were entitled to do so. But now those of us concerned about the integrity of this election are entitled to do the same.”

He continued, writing that, “I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws.”

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In a swipe at big tech, the Senator accused Facebook and Twitter of trying to interfere in the election, in support of Joe Biden. Though he gave no specifics, conservatives say Hawley was referring to the challenges faced by the New York Post with its social media accounts after reporting on alleged emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Hawley also called for Congress to “investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections.” (Former Attorney General William Barr told the Associated Press earlier this month that, there is no evidence of “fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”) The President has yet to concede the election.

President Elect Biden’s staff, meanwhile, is dismissing Hawley’s attempt to block the electoral vote count. Incoming press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, “This is merely a formality and it certainly should be treated as such by people who are covering it and regardless of whatever antics anyone is up to on January 6th, President-elect Biden will be sworn in on the 20th.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also voiced her support for Biden stating, “I have no doubt that next Wednesday…Joe Biden will be confirmed by the acceptance of the vote of the Electoral College as the 46th President of the United States.

In 2017 Biden Shot Down House Dems’ Objections to Trump

In the aftermath of the 2016 election, several Democratic representatives in the House of Representatives voiced their objection to a Trump presidency citing “Russian interference.” Their objections failed.

In January 2017, it was Joe Biden who presided over the certification of Donald Trump’s win of the Presidency. In a latch-ditch attempt to voice their disputes, some Democrat House members complained about “long lines at polling stations” while others cited  concerns over alleged Russian interference.

“I object because people are horrified by the overwhelming evidence of Russian interference in our election,” said Representative Barbara Lee of California before being overruled–by none other than Biden.

According to Reuters, Biden denied the Democrats objections one by one, “at times jocular and apparently determined to finish the tally. ‘It is over,’ he said at one point, to laughter from Republicans.'”

In that particular case however, it was only House members that opposed the electoral college result. Now, however, a sitting U.S. Senator is opposing the certification. As such, (and because he is joined by a House member) the House of Representatives will need to consider the objection per Congressional rules.  In order for the objection to be sustained and a state’s presidential vote thrown out, a majority in both chambers would have to agree to disregard a state’s votes–something that is highly unlikely given that the Democrats have the majority in the House.

As such, the electoral college vote is expected to be held on January 6th with Biden being sworn in as President on January 20th, 2021.


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