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Congress rejects challenge to Arizona's presidential vote

Congress on Wednesday rejected a challenge from congressional conservatives to President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors Biden celebrates vaccine approval but warns 'current improvement could reverse' MORE's win in Arizona, hours after rioters stormed the Capitol with the intent of stopping the proceedings.

The Senate voted 93-6 on the objection while the House voted 303-121, with both chambers rejecting the challenge along bipartisan lines.

Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Texas attorney general hits links with Trump before CPAC appearance MORE (R-Texas) and Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarRep. Gosar denounces 'white racism' after controversial appearance Texas attorney general hits links with Trump before CPAC appearance Madison Cawthorn doesn't regret participating in Jan. 6 'Stop the Steal' rally MORE (R-Ariz.) had offered the objection to Arizona's results earlier Wednesday, sparking what was supposed to be two hours of debate and then a vote on whether or not to support the challenge.

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But both chambers had their proceedings interrupted after rioters breached the Capitol, including taking over both the House and Senate chambers and vandalizing leadership offices.

The votes represented smaller than expected support for the challenges in the wake of the historic riots, which sent shockwaves throughout Washington and the world amid scenes of chaos and violence in the Capitol.

But it also divided Republicans including at the top ranks with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyMcCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues MORE (R-Calif.) supporting the challenge, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe bizarre back story of the filibuster The Bible's wisdom about addressing our political tribalism Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (R-Ky.) opposed it.

Fourteen GOP senators had been expected to support the challenges to key battleground states but in the end Cruz was joined by GOP Sens. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleySunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Texas attorney general hits links with Trump before CPAC appearance The Memo: CPAC fires starting gun on 2024 MORE (Mo.), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.), Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallPat Roberts joins lobbying firm weeks after Senate retirement Biden health nominee faces first Senate test Senate committee plans grid reliability hearing after Texas outages MORE (Kan.), Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers Biden health nominee faces first Senate test MORE (Tenn.) and John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.) supported it.

In the House, 121 Republicans supported it after estimates that more than 140 Republicans would support the efforts to overturn Biden's win in key states.

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Still, more House Republicans backed the challenge than opposed it. 

"We're headed toward tonight the certification of Joe Biden to be the president of the United States and we will work together in this body to be able to set a peaceful example of days ahead," said Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordRepublicans see Becerra as next target in confirmation wars Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March 11 GOP senators slam Biden pick for health secretary: 'No meaningful experience' MORE (R-Okla.), who had been expected to support the objections.

Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers Senate GOP ready to turn page on Trump MORE (R-Ind.), another one of the 14, said he decided against objecting because "I didn't feel comfortable with today's events."

But the debate over the objection was marked with partisan moments.

GOP Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGrenell hints at potential California gubernatorial bid Trump to reemerge on political scene at CPAC Former Trump officials eye bids for political office MORE (Fla.) drew boos from Democrats when he suggested that Trump supporters were angry for being called "a bunch of seditious traitors."

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He also drew applause from Republicans when he urged progressives to stop calling for "defunding the police" — a talking point that has been rejected by most congressional Democrats.

The vote on the challenge to Arizona's results is one of at least two states Republicans are expected to force votes on before ultimately certifying Biden's win.

Senate Republicans had hoped they had talked the objectors into dropping their plan to challenge additional states and GOP Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerKelly Loeffler's WNBA team sold after players' criticism Please, President Trump: Drop your quest for revenge and help the GOP The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan MORE (Ga.) did say she was no longer planning to object to the Electoral College results from Georgia.

But Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is still expected to object to the election results from Pennsylvania, according to his spokesperson. Assuming Hawley has the support of a House member, the objections will trigger another two hours of debate by both chambers and a vote on whether or not to support the challenge.

"What we are doing here tonight is actually very important because for those who have concerns about the integrity of our elections, those who have concerns about what happened in November, this is the appropriate means, this is the lawful place where those objections and concerns should be heard," Hawley said from the Senate floor.