Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri objected to the counting of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, triggering up to two hours of debate in the House and Senate.
The objections came 11 hours after the congressional count to confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory began, and after lawmakers had to evacuate both chambers for several hours to escape a mob that had violently breached the Capitol.
Hawley said last week that he would object to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, saying Congress should investigate voter fraud. President Donald Trump has falsely said since his defeat that there was widespread fraud in the election.
Biden won Pennsylvania by just over 80,000 votes. Since the Nov. 3 election, Trump and his allies filed at least a half-dozen lawsuits challenging Biden’s win on various grounds, including that many or all of the state’s mail-in ballots were illegal.
The lawsuits failed as judge after judge found no violation of state law or constitutional rights, or no grounds to grant an immediate halt to certifying the election.
Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey said he was disappointed at Trump’s loss, but he would not set aside the will of the people of the Commonwealth.
He also rejected the election lies that spurred the violence at the Capitol.
“We witnessed today the damage that can result when men in power and responsibility refuse to acknowledge the truth. We saw bloodshed because a demagogue chose to spread falsehoods and sow distrust of his own fellow Americans. Let’s not abet such deception. Let’s reject this motion,” Toomey said.
Pennsylvania’s senior senator, Democrat Bob Casey, also stood to defend the state’s voters and election officials.
“Republicans and Democrats from red counties and blue counties – they did their jobs. They are patriots and these objections are an attack on these Pennsylvanian public servants,” Casey said.
I rise tonight to defend the people of Pennsylvania against a lie — the same lie that sowed the seed of today’s violence. Watch my full remarks: https://t.co/0N2MBQOe10
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) January 7, 2021
The Senate quickly killed Republican objections to Pennsylvania’s electoral vote for Biden.
Senators voted 92-7 after midnight to derail the GOP attempt to overturn Pennsylvania’s support for the Democrat.
The Senate rejected the effort to cancel Pennsylvania’s votes without any debate.
It was then the House of Representatives’ turn.
Heated confrontation between House members amid debate over Pennsylvania electoral vote count
A brief but tense confrontation unfolded on the floor of the House of Representatives early Thursday morning, with some members appearing ready to come to blows while debating challenges put forth by Republican lawmakers seeking to reverse Biden’s win.
Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., used his five minutes to give an impassioned speech during the debate over the Electoral…