Congress Electoral College

Vice President Mike Pence walks onto the House floor to officiate a joint session of the House and Senate to confirm Electoral College votes at the Capitol, early Thursday, Jan 7, 2021, in Washington.

Two Minnesota House Republicans, Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber, broke with a majority of their colleagues and did not support objections to certifying results of the 2020 presidential election, joining all Democratic members of the state’s congressional delegation.

Republican. Rep. Jim Hagedorn and newly-elected Rep. Michelle Fischbach voted to oppose electors in Arizona, joining more than 100 House Republicans and half a dozen Senate Republicans in attempting to subvert election results based on unfounded claims of voter fraud.

Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and Reps. Angie Craig, Ilhan Omar, Betty McCollum and Dean Phillips all opposed the objections.

Certifying the Electoral College votes, usually a routine matter for Congress, stretched into early Thursday morning after a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building and forced a 15-hour long recess as federal police sequestered lawmakers, Electoral College ballots and cleared the chambers.

The Associated Press reported that riot in the Capitol prompted more than half of those who had signed on to the protest to instead vote “no.” Catering to Trump's supporters seemed less important than defending democracy. More than 90 senators populated the chamber for the debate — guarded by dozens of heavily armed police — and the typically verbose crowd had to keep their remarks to just five minutes.

In voting to certify, his first comments on accepting the election results, Stauber said in a statement that “Overturning the results of the Electoral College would be an overstep of Congress’ limited role and would revoke power from where it should be derived – you, the people, and the states.”

Emmer, who also chairs the Republican National Committee, echoed those thoughts in a statement released late Wednesday before the House vote. “Congress does not have the authority to discard an individual slate of electors certified by a state’s legislature in accordance with their constitution. Doing so sets a precedent that I believe undermines the state-based system of elections that defines our Republic."

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