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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 TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE and President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenThe West needs a more collaborative approach to Taiwan Abbott's medical advisers were not all consulted before he lifted Texas mask mandate House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act 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) GaetzBipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks Some Republicans say proxy voting gives advantage to Democrats Wray says no evidence of 'antifa' involvement in Jan. 6 attack MORE (Fla.), Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertNIH director: Mask politicalization may have cost 'tens of thousands' of lives in US Democrats should make the 'Bee-Gees' the face of the Republican Party GOP lawmakers call for Pelosi to be fined over new screenings MORE (Texas), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC Rep. Gosar denounces 'white racism' after controversial appearance Texas attorney general hits links with Trump before CPAC appearance MORE (Ariz.) and Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceConnolly to GOP: I won't be lectured by those who voted to overturn the election DeJoy apologizes for mail delays while defending Postal Service changes 42 GOP lawmakers press for fencing around Capitol to be removed 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 HawleyGarland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks The Memo: Is Trump mounting a comeback — or finally fading? House plans for immigration bills add uncertainty on Biden proposal 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 BarrMajority of Republicans say 2020 election was invalid: poll Biden administration withdraws from Connecticut transgender athlete case Justice Department renews investigation into George Floyd's death: report 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