Congress rejects challenge to Arizona's presidential vote

Congress on Wednesday rejected a challenge from congressional conservatives to President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Five House members meet with Taiwanese president despite Chinese objections Sunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist 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 CruzBiden administration resists tougher Russia sanctions in Congress Republicans struggle to save funding for Trump's border wall GOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions MORE (R-Texas) and Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips With extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one Greene: McCarthy 'doesn't have the full support to be Speaker' 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 McCarthyGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips With extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one Greene: McCarthy 'doesn't have the full support to be Speaker' MORE (R-Calif.) supporting the challenge, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season 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 HawleyGOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks The GOP's post-1/6 playbook is clear — and it's dangerous MORE (Mo.), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.), Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallMcConnell backs Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race Thune endorses Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race Vaccine 'resisters' are a real problem MORE (Kan.), Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnChina draws scrutiny over case of tennis star Peng Shuai Sunday shows preview: Boosters open to all US adults; House Dems pass spending plan on to Senate Photos of the Week: President Biden, Kenosha protests and a pardon for Peanut Butter 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 LankfordConstant threats to government funding fail the American public GOP Senate candidate says Fauci is 'mass murderer,' should be jailed rather than 'hero' Rittenhouse Bill requiring companies report cyber incidents moves forward in the Senate MORE (R-Okla.), who had been expected to support the objections.

Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunRepublicans struggle to save funding for Trump's border wall Schumer-McConnell dial down the debt ceiling drama Cruz, Braun slam Library of Congress for forgoing term 'illegal aliens' to suit 'progressive preference' 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) GaetzGreene: McCarthy 'doesn't have the full support to be Speaker' Marjorie Taylor Greene introduces bill to award Congressional Gold Medal to Rittenhouse Press: Rittenhouse verdict demands change in gun laws 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 LoefflerSenate GOP worries Trump could derail bid for majority Perdue mulling primary challenge against Kemp in Georgia: report McConnell backs Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race 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.