Pence no longer speaking at RNC meeting on Thursday

Vice President Pence will no longer speak at a Republican National Committee (RNC) meeting in Florida on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the plans.

Pence’s appearance at the party’s winter meeting in Amelia Island, Fla., was never officially announced, though he was widely expected to attend. The gathering is expected to attract a handful of potential contenders for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

A spokesperson for the vice president did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Pence’s plans. It’s unclear if his appearance at the meeting will be rescheduled.

The timing of the trip has been complicated by the ongoing meeting of Congress to certify last month’s Electoral College vote affirming Joe Biden as the president-elect.

The apparent cancelation comes at a particularly tumultuous time for the GOP. The party is on the cusp of losing its Senate majority after Democrat Raphael Warnock defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) in a runoff election on Tuesday. 

Another Democrat, Jon Ossoff, also appears on track to oust Republican incumbent David Perdue in another runoff in the state.

At the same time, an ongoing debate in Congress over challenges by some Republicans to Biden’s Electoral College victory has opened up a rift within the party. 

Dozens of GOP allies of President Trump are objecting to the election results in several states in a move that has drawn rebukes from both Democrats and top Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

Pence, who is charged with presiding over the joint session of Congress, has been under increasing pressure from Trump to reject electoral votes he views as “fraudulent.”

In a letter to Congress on Wednesday, the vice president said that he lacks the authority to toss out presidential electors.

Trump launched a rare attack on his vice president on Wednesday afternoon, accusing Pence of lacking the “courage” to throw out election results.

Tags David Perdue Donald Trump Joe Biden Kelly Loeffler Mike Pence Mitch McConnell Republican National Committee RNC winter meeting

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