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McCarthy says he supports effort to challenge Electoral College results

McCarthy says he supports effort to challenge Electoral College results
© Bonnie Cash

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyFormer lawmakers call on leadership to focus on unity Cheney spokesperson on Gaetz: 'In Wyoming, the men don't wear make-up' Biden attends first church service as president in DC, stops at local bagel shop MORE (R-Calif.) on Sunday expressed support for conservatives’ efforts to challenge the outcome of the Electoral College when Congress meets Jan. 6 to certify the results.

“I think it's right that we have the debate. I mean, you see now that senators are going to object, the House is going to object — how else do we have a way to change the election problems?” McCarthy told The Hill on Sunday.  

Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksFreedom Caucus chairman blasts 'sensational lies' after Capitol riot Democratic super PAC targets Hawley, Cruz in new ad blitz Trust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots MORE (R-Ala.), who is leading the charge in the lower chamber, announced his plans to contest the results last month, repeating President TrumpDonald TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden's secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' MORE’s claims the election was stolen from him, despite producing no evidence showing widespread voter fraud.

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Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyBush-, Obama-era officials urge Senate to swiftly confirm Biden's DHS pick Senate committee advances Biden's DHS pick despite Republican pushback Google suspends donations to lawmakers who voted against certifying election MORE (R-Mo.) announced he is also willing to object, providing Brooks with a member of the upper chamber required to move forward with debate. A number of other House Republicans and a dozen GOP members of the Senate have also said they will back the challenge.

Proponents of the challenge have said that despite courts overwhelmingly rejecting the Trump campaign's legal challenges, Congress should hold jurisdiction over the matter. They argue Jan. 6 will provide the opportunity to lay out the president’s case.  

While McCarthy supports the efforts, a number of House GOP lawmakers have pushed back. 

House Republican Conference Chair Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyState-level Republicans wracked by division after Trump's loss Former lawmakers call on leadership to focus on unity On The Trail: Little GOP interest in post-election introspection MORE (R-Wyo.), the No. 3 GOP lawmaker in the House, sent a memo to her colleagues denouncing the move, arguing it sets a dangerous precedent and sows doubts in democracy. 

“As you will see, there is substantial reason for concern about the precedent Congressional objections will set here. By objecting to electoral slates, members are unavoidably asserting that Congress has the authority to overturn elections and overrule state and federal courts,” she wrote. 

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“Such objections set an exceptionally dangerous precedent, threatening to steal states’ explicit constitutional responsibility for choosing the President and bestowing it instead on Congress. This is directly at odds with the Constitution’s clear text and our core beliefs as Republicans," she added. "Democrats have long attempted, unconstitutionally, to federalize every element of our nation—including elections. Republicans should not embrace Democrats’ unconstitutional position on these issues."  

And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHumanist Report host criticizes 'conservative Democrats:' They 'hold more power' than progressives Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' Biden's Cabinet gradually confirmed by Senate MORE (R-Ky.) previously urged Republicans in the upper chamber not to object to the results, telling members in December that it “isn’t in the best interest of everybody.” McConnell has recognized Joe BidenJoe BidenDobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' Should deficits matter any more? Biden's Cabinet gradually confirmed by Senate MORE as the president-elect. 

One GOP lawmaker told The Hill that upwards of 140 House Republicans could potentially join Brooks in contesting the results. 

Updated at 5:41 p.m.