Inauguration committee Republicans sink Democrats' resolution acknowledging Biden victory

Republican leaders on Tuesday shot down a Democratic resolution formally recognizing Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Myanmar military conducts violent night raids Confidence in coronavirus vaccines has grown with majority now saying they want it MORE's presidential victory, highlighting the dilemma facing GOP lawmakers leery of breaking with President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout 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 HoyerSunday shows preview: Manchin makes the rounds after pivotal role in coronavirus relief debate House to vote on revised COVID-19 bill Tuesday Senate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote 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 HarrisBiden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package It will be Vice (or) President Harris against Gov. DeSantis in 2024 — bet on it Trump sued by Democrat over mob attack on Capitol 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 McConnellBiden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package GOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill Senate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote MORE (Ky.), Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntBiden gets involved to help break Senate logjam Top Republican: 'Outrageous' to extend National Guard deployment at Capitol Five takeaways from dramatic Capitol security hearing MORE (Mo.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyMcCarthy sits for 'Green Eggs and Ham' reading: I 'still like' Dr. Seuss Chamber of Commerce clarifies stance on lawmakers who voted against election certification Watch live: McCarthy holds press briefing MORE (Calif.) — voted against the motion. Hoyer was joined in support by the two other Democrats on the panel, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump White House associate tied to Proud Boys before riot via cell phone data Greene sounds off on GOP after Hill story 'Bloody Sunday' to be commemorated for first time without John Lewis MORE (Calif.) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: China implicated in Microsoft breach | White House adds Big Tech critic | QAnon unfazed after false prediction FDA signals plan to address toxic elements in baby food Sen. Tina Smith calls for eliminating filibuster 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 GrahamSunday shows preview: Manchin makes the rounds after pivotal role in coronavirus relief debate Georgia DA investigating Trump taps racketeering expert for probe: report GOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill 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."