Collins becomes fourth GOP senator to congratulate Biden
Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) on Monday became the fourth Republican senator to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden, while urging patience amid a myriad of legal challenges.
“I would offer my congratulations to President-elect Biden on his apparent victory – he loves this country, and I wish him every success,” Collins said in a statement.
Most Senate Republicans have refrained from commenting on Biden’s victory and have not publicly conceded that President Trump lost reelection.
Three other GOP senators — Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Ben Sasse (Neb.) — have issued statements congratulating Biden after The Associated Press and other media outlets called the race for him Saturday.
Collins also tipped her hand to the looming transition process, saying that “presidential transitions are important” and that the incoming Biden administration “should be given every opportunity to ensure that they are ready to govern on January 20th.”
The Washington Post reported on Sunday that General Services Administration Administrator Emily Murphy hadn’t yet affirmed that Biden won the election, a step needed to give his team access to federal resources and the ability to communicate with agencies.
President Trump has made baseless claims that the election was rigged and stolen from him — accusations he has ramped up as it became clearer that he did not have a path to 270 electoral college votes.
Trump’s campaign has filed several lawsuits to challenge the results in a few battleground states after the president spent months spreading false claims that mail-in ballots could open the election up to fraud.
While some GOP lawmakers have pushed back since the election about the president’s rhetoric, top allies have echoed his claims and urged him to fight back. Several have tried to straddle a middle ground, not directly weighing in on Trump’s claims but predicting the legal process will play out.
Collins, in her statement, urged “people to be patient.”
“I understand that the President and others have questions about the results in certain states. There is a process in place to challenge those results and, consistent with that process, the President should be afforded the opportunity to do so,” Collins said.
“I know that many are eager to have certainty right now. While we have a clear direction, we should continue to respect that process. I urge people to be patient. The process has not failed our country in more than 200 years, and it is not going to fail our country this year,” Collins added.
Updated at 3:26 p.m.
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