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No. 2 GOP senator: Efforts to overturn election would 'go down like a shot dog'

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneOn The Money: Democrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit | White House confident Congress will raise debt ceiling Psaki: Biden 'believes' Congress will lift debt limit despite spending battle Congress barrels toward debt cliff MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, warned on Monday that efforts to challenge the Electoral College vote in Congress next month would fall short in the Senate.

The GOP senator — who has publicly and privately pushed back against the effort being led by Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson Brooks14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Mo Brooks accuses Swalwell attorney who served papers on his wife of trespassing Shelby backs ex-aide over Trump-favored candidate in Alabama Senate race MORE (R-Ala.) — argued that it would be futile to force both chambers to vote on an objection to the Electoral College vote that is "not going anywhere."

"I mean, in the Senate, it would ... go down like a shot dog," Thune told reporters. "I just don't think it makes a lot of sense to put everybody through this when you know what the ultimate outcome is going to be."

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His comments come after a group of House conservatives met with President TrumpDonald TrumpGuardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa wins GOP primary in NYC mayor's race Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump Schumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster MORE and Vice President Pence on Monday at the White House to strategize on the effort to challenge the Electoral College votes when Congress formally convenes to count and certify the votes next month.

"Big meeting today with @realDonaldTrump, @VP, the President's legal team,
@freedomcaucus and other Members of Congress. I will lead an objection to Georgia's electors on Jan 6. The courts refuse to hear the President's legal case. We're going to make sure the People can!" Rep. Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceHouse Democrat: Republicans 'treating Capitol Police like shit' were 'the most scared' during riot 21 Republicans vote against awarding medals to police who defended Capitol Georgia GOP censures state official who criticized Trump MORE (R-Ga.) tweeted about the meeting.

Brooks has said he's spoken with Senate Republicans who are receptive to his plan, though none have said they plan to object. Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) has said he's considering it, something that earned him public praise from Trump. A group of 2024 hopefuls is also being watched closely.

Thune said on Monday that he didn't know of a GOP senator, or an incoming GOP senator, who had committed to challenging the election results on Jan. 6.

"I don't know where they're getting that. I've seen public statements from a couple of Republicans, incoming Republicans, but I don't know that anyone is committed to doing it," he said when a reporter noted that House Republicans claim that a senator supports their effort.

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The push by Brooks and others to use Congress's vote to prolong the election fight has put a spotlight on divisions between House and Senate Republicans, who have made it clear they are ready to move on.

Thune, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate GOP blocks voting rights bill Schumer, McConnell spar as GOP prepares to block voting bill Trump has 'zero desire' to be Speaker, spokesman says MORE (R-Ky.) and Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate to vote on elections bill Congress barrels toward debt cliff Excellence Act will expand mental health and substance use treatment access to millions MORE (R-Mo.), a member of GOP leadership and the Senate Rules Committee chairman, used a private caucus call last week to warn members of the caucus against challenging the results on Jan. 6. 

Several House Republicans have said they are backing Brooks's effort, but to successfully force a debate and vote on his objection, he’ll need support from at least one GOP senator. That’s only happened twice since 1887, according to the Congressional Research Service.

If both a House member and a senator object, the two chambers would have to meet separately, debate the issue and then have a majority in both chambers vote to uphold the objection to a state’s slate. A lawmaker has never been able to successfully throw out a state's results.