Bipartisan group of senators: The election is over

A bipartisan group of senators on Sunday urged their colleagues to support the Electoral College vote, as at least a dozen GOP senators prepare to challenge the election results on Wednesday. 

GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Bill Cassidy (La.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mitt Romney (Utah) and Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Mark Warner (Va.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Independent Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said in a joint statement that the “election is over.”

“At this point, further attempts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential election are contrary to the clearly expressed will of the American people and only serve to undermine Americans’ confidence in the already determined election results,” they said. 

“The voters have spoken, and Congress must now fulfill its responsibility to certify the election results. …. It is time to move forward,” they added. 

The joint statement comes a day after 11 GOP senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), said they would support challenges to the Electoral College results on Wednesday, when Congress convenes a joint session to formally count the vote. 

Combined with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who had already said he plans to object, that means at least 12 GOP senators will support attempts to overturn President-Elect Joe Biden’s win, after he received 306 Electoral College votes to President Trump’s 232. 

Trump, who has endorsed challenges to the election results in Congress, has claimed that the election was “rigged” or that there was widespread voter fraud. And the 11 GOP senators, in their joint statement on Saturday, alleged that the 2020 election included “unprecedented allegations of voter fraud.”

Dozens of attempts by Trump’s legal team to challenge the results in key states have been dismissed by the courts and election experts have repeatedly rejected claims of widespread voter fraud. Then-Attorney General William Barr also said last month that his department had found no widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the election. 

But if a member of the House and a member of the Senate support an objection, the two bodies pause the counting of the Electoral College vote, go to their respective chambers and debate the issue for up to two hours. In order for an objection to be successful, something that has never happened before, it would need the support of a majority of both the House and Senate.

The Jan. 6 effort is guaranteed to fall short even in the GOP-controlled Senate, where several members have said they will not support efforts to challenge the election results. 

“I think the overwhelming weight of the evidence is that Joe Biden defeated my candidate Donald Trump and I have to live with it,” Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said on Sunday. 

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), asked about the plan by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) to object, said that “it’s time to move on.”

Tags Angus King Bill Cassidy Dick Durbin Donald Trump Electoral College Jeanne Shaheen Joe Biden Joe Manchin Josh Hawley Lisa Murkowski Maggie Hassan Mark Warner Mitt Romney Richard Shelby Roger Wicker Susan Collins Ted Cruz William Barr

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