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Pence 'welcomes' efforts of lawmakers to 'raise objections' to Electoral College results

Vice President Pence's chief of staff said in a statement on Saturday that the vice president "welcomes" an effort by some lawmakers to "raise objections" on Jan. 6 when Congress meets to certify the Electoral College vote. 

“Vice President Pence shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election,” Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, said in a statement to The Hill.

“The Vice President welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people on January 6th,” the statement continued.

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The comment is the most extensive remark Pence's office has made on the Jan. 6 proceedings following a highly contentious election between President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE and President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBudowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit DC might win US House vote if it tries Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman inks deal with IMG Models MORE.

In the roughly two months since Election Day, Pence has stopped short of explicitly echoing Trump's language that the election was fraudulent, instead calling for all "legal votes" to be counted. Still, he has not publicly discouraged efforts by the president or his allies to challenge or overturn the election results. 

His statement comes a day after a GOP lawsuit seeking to give him the authority to overturn the election results on Jan. 6 was dismissed for lack of standing.

Pence will preside over the Jan. 6 meeting, but his role is largely ceremonial.

Dozens of incoming and current House Republicans have indicated they would challenge the Electoral College vote during Wednesday's meeting. GOP Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzTrump, allies raise pressure on Senate GOP ahead of impeachment Cheney spokesperson on Gaetz: 'In Wyoming, the men don't wear make-up' Cheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency MORE (Fla.), Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertTrust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots Why Trump could face criminal charges for inciting violence and insurrection Democrats to levy fines on maskless lawmakers on House floor MORE (Texas), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarFreedom Caucus chairman blasts 'sensational lies' after Capitol riot Ethics complaint filed against Biggs, Cawthorn and Gosar over Capitol riot Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence MORE (Ariz.) and Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceGeorgia elections chief refutes election claims in letter to Congress READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Pence 'welcomes' efforts of lawmakers to 'raise objections' to Electoral College results MORE (Ga.) are some of the Republicans who plan to challenge the Electoral College vote when Congress meets next week. 

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Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyTo 'lower the temperature' raise commitments to federalism Leahy, not Roberts, to preside over impeachment trial Beto O'Rourke: Ted Cruz 'guilty of sedition' in Capitol insurrection MORE (Mo.) was the first Republican senator to indicate that he would join the effort last week. His objection, along with that of one House lawmaker, is enough to ensure that both chambers would have to debate and vote over the issue. 

A majority in both chambers would have to vote to uphold the objection in order for it to be successful.

However, the effort is not likely to succeed since Democrats control the House, and several GOP senators have said they would oppose any objections.

Hawley and other Republican lawmakers have raised concerns about the number of allegations of voter fraud following the 2020 presidential election. Trump and his allies have alleged repeatedly the election was affected by widespread voter fraud.

However, top election officials, in addition to former Attorney General William BarrBill BarrPoll finds 1 in 3 believe false claims voter fraud led to Biden win Trump pressed DOJ to go to Supreme Court in bid to overturn election: report Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated MORE, have confirmed that there is no evidence of widespread fraud. 

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The movement to challenge the election results next week gained new momentum on Saturday after 11 GOP senators said that they would object until there is a 10-day audit of election returns in certain states.

Biden won 306 electoral votes compared with Trump’s 232 and led the president by 7 million votes in the popular vote.

Brett Samuels contributed