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.


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 TrumpEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Ex-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' MORE and President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenEx-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' News leaders deal with the post-Trump era 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) GaetzGaetz, under investigative cloud, questions FBI director House Judiciary releases McGahn testimony on Trump Newsmax says network turned Gaetz down for a job MORE (Fla.), Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertWray grilled on FBI's handling of Jan. 6 Gohmert asks if federal agencies can change Earth's or moon's orbits to fight climate change Democrats debate shape of new Jan. 6 probe MORE (Texas), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarOn The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Trump looms large over fractured Arizona GOP 9 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022 MORE (Ariz.) and Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceGeorgia GOP censures state official who criticized Trump Republicans try but can't escape Jan. 6  GOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase MORE (Ga.) are some of the Republicans who plan to challenge the Electoral College vote when Congress meets next week. 


Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyConcerns grow over China's Taiwan plans GOP's attacks on Fauci at center of pandemic message Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack 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 BarrEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Garland sparks anger with willingness to side with Trump Trump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says MORE, have confirmed that there is no evidence of widespread fraud. 


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