Republican leaders on Tuesday shot down a Democratic resolution formally recognizing Joe BidenJoe BidenFord to bolster electric vehicle production in multi-billion dollar push Protesters demonstrate outside Manchin's houseboat over opposition to reconciliation package Alabama eyes using pandemic relief funds on prison system MORE's presidential victory, highlighting the dilemma facing GOP lawmakers leery of breaking with President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE, who refuses to acknowledge defeat.
The vote occurred behind closed doors in the Capitol, among members of a bipartisan committee charged with planning the presidential inauguration ceremony on the Capitol grounds. House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerGOP blocks debt limit hike, government funding Democrats press Schumer on removing Confederate statues from Capitol House Democrats set 'goal' to vote on infrastructure, social spending package next week MORE (Md.), a member of the panel, had proposed a motion empowering the committee to "notify the American people" of plans "for the inauguration of Joseph Biden and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisNavarro rips 'dimwit' Trump Jr. on 'The View' for COVID-19 and obesity tweet Do progressives prefer Trump to compromise? Biden, Harris push big lie about Border Patrol MORE," the Democrat said as he was leaving the meeting.
The resolution also would have set limits on attendance at the Jan. 20 event, in consultation with public health experts, to prevent crowding amid a surge in coronavirus cases around the country.
The vote failed on a partisan vote, three to three. All the Republicans on the committee — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFord to bolster electric vehicle production in multi-billion dollar push On The Money — GOP blocks spending bill to kick off chaotic week in congress Overnight Health Care — Presented by Alrtia — Booster shots get bipartisan rollout MORE (Ky.), Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntRoy Blunt has helped forge and fortify the shared bonds between Australia and America The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B MORE (Mo.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse GOP campaign arm ties vulnerable Democrats to Biden in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Fifth House Republican comes out in support of bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE (Calif.) — voted against the motion. Hoyer was joined in support by the two other Democrats on the panel, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiManchin cast doubt on deal this week for .5T spending bill Obama says US 'desperately needs' Biden legislation ahead of key votes Congress shows signs of movement on stalled Biden agenda MORE (Calif.) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Officials want action on cyberattacks Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook This week: Democrats face mounting headaches MORE (Minn.).
Hoyer said there was agreement on the notion of limiting public participation at next month's inauguration.
"I think there was a consensus that we're going to limit far beyond what we'd like to do," he told reporters.
The Republican opposition, he charged, was rooted in the GOP's "refusing to accept the outcome of the election" and the party's "deference to President Trump's post-election temper tantrums."
"[Their position] threatens our democracy and undermines faith in our system of elections," Hoyer said in a statement later.
Republicans defended their position afterward, arguing that Democrats were getting ahead of the process, since the state electors don't vote to formalize the presidential results until Dec. 14. Blunt accused Democrats of politicizing the committee's mundane role in planning the inaugural event.
“It is not the job of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies to get ahead of the electoral process and decide who we are inaugurating," Blunt said in a statement. "The JCCIC is facing the challenge of planning safe Inaugural Ceremonies during a global pandemic. I would hope that, going forward, the members of the JCCIC would adhere to the committee’s long-standing tradition of bipartisan cooperation and focus on the task at hand.”
Tuesday's vote came as Trump continues to claim, falsely, that the election was rigged by a conspiracy of state election workers, foreign governments and election technology companies all fighting to tip the scale toward Biden. There has been no evidence of election tampering in any state, however, and even Republican officials overseeing the process have rejected Trump's claims with increasingly urgent appeals for voters to accept the results.
Still, those state-based appeals have not found much audience among Capitol Hill Republicans, who have overwhelmingly declined to recognize Trump's defeat more than a month after the election.
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump-backed challenger to Cheney decried him as 'racist,' 'xenophobic' in 2016: report State Department spokesperson tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers fret over wild week of deadlines MORE (R-S.C.), a staunch Trump ally, said Tuesday that he won't weigh in on any Biden Cabinet appointees until Dec. 14, suggesting the election outcome will remain inconclusive until then.
"I'm not going to comment on any Biden nominees until Dec. 14 and then I'll tell you," he told reporters.
Asked if it's time for Trump to concede, Graham was equally evasive.
"I'll talk to you December the 14th."