Pence may leave for overseas trip after certifying vote: report
Vice President Pence is reportedly planning to leave for a foreign trip after confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s win on Jan. 6.
Three U.S. officials told Politico that Pence is considering a weeklong overseas trip that would begin on Jan. 6, the day he is expected to confirm Biden’s win and his ticket’s loss in the presidential election.
The vote itself places Pence in an awkward spot given President Trump’s refusal to concede the race. Pence’s job is largely ceremonial, but his constitutional duty is to confirm the winner of the election.
He’s far from the first vice president to be placed in the uncomfortable spot. Perhaps most notably, former Vice President Al Gore declared Republican George W. Bush as the president-elect in early 2001, after he lost the election to Bush while winning the popular vote. The Bush-Gore fight ended up being decided by the Supreme Court, which upheld the count for Bush in Florida.
Leaving the country could allow Pence to avoid the ire of Trump and his supporters.
Pence aides did not confirm the trip to Politico, but the news outlet obtained documents that showed Pence’s itinerary, with plans to stop in Bahrain, Israel and Poland. According to Politico, a pre-advance team has already left to visit the planned stops to prepare for his international tour.
This will be Pence’s first international trip since January, when he traveled to Rome and Israel.
One senior official said the trip was not confirmed yet and said the timing had to do with how his schedule lined up.
“I suspect the timing is anything but coincidental,” a Pence ally told Politico.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) has said he will challenge the vote in several states as part of an effort to overturn the result.
If a single GOP senator joined Brooks, it would force a debate and votes in the House and Senate.
So far no GOP senator has backed he effort, however, and GOP leaders in the Senate have actively sought to dissuade members from doing so.
Even if a GOP senator did join the effort, supporters of the strategy do not have the support to win the votes in either chamber.