Cruz to object to Arizona’s Electoral College results Wednesday
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will object to Arizona’s Electoral College results Wednesday, making it the third state Senate Republicans are expected to challenge.
Cruz’s planned challenge, confirmed to The Hill by a source familiar, is expected to be backed by several of the 10 GOP senators who signed on to a plan vowing to support objections to the election results.
Because Congress votes on Electoral College results alphabetically by state, Cruz’s objection is expected to be one of the first and, according to the source, will focus on his request for a commission to review the presidential election rather than arguing for setting aside the state’s election results.
At least two states besides Arizona are so far expected to see challenges from Senate Republicans to their Electoral College votes when Congress convenes its joint session to formally count the results.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who like Cruz is viewed as a potential 2024 challenger, has pledged to challenge the results in Pennsylvania and hasn’t ruled out trying to set aside the results in additional battleground states where President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Trump.
A separate source also told The Hill on Monday that Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) is likely to challenge Georgia, a traditionally red state where Biden defeated Trump. Loeffler’s announcement that she would object to the Electoral College results comes as she is facing off against the Rev. Raphael Warnock in one of Georgia’s two runoff elections on Tuesday that will determine which party controls the Senate majority.
Cruz’s decision to object to Arizona, which was first reported by The Washington Post, comes after he and 10 other GOP senators released a letter over the weekend vowing to support challenges to the election results unless a commission was formed to conduct a 10-day audit.
“Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed,” they said in a joint statement.
Under the rules for Wednesday’s joint session, if a House member and a senator object to a state’s election results, the joint session is paused, lawmakers go to their respective chambers and the objection is debated for up to two hours.
In order for an objection to be successful it needs a majority support in both chambers. That means every objection made Wednesday will fail both in the Democratic-controlled House but also the GOP-controlled Senate, where several Republicans have spoken out against the effort.
“I’m confident we’ll get 12” Republican senators, Cruz told radio host Mark Levin, adding that they could “get more than that.”