Democratic senators say electoral ballots saved from Senate floor

Senators are crediting a "quick thinking" staffer for securing the 2020 Electoral College ballots while people were evacuated from the Capitol as rioters entered the building on Wednesday.

A joint session of Congress descended into chaos as supporters of President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE who were protesting the Electoral College vote to certify President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE's win swarmed the Capitol.

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — Senate Finance chair backs budget action on fossil fuel subsidies Top Democrat says he'll push to address fossil fuel tax breaks in spending bill Democrats revive filibuster fight over voting rights bill MORE (D-Ore.) said Wednesday that the Electoral College certificates contained inside a trio of mahogany boxes would've been destroyed "by the mob," had they not been saved as lawmakers, aides and journalists were evacuated from the Senate chamber.

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Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthDems punch back over GOP holdup of Biden SBA nominee Top Republican: General told senators he opposed Afghanistan withdrawal Democrats brace for battle on Biden's .5 trillion spending plan MORE (D-Ill.) also praised the aide for being able to "grab and secure" the ballots.

"We have them with us," Duckworth said in an interview with CBS News, "and we will be able to proceed as long as [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse passes standalone bill to provide B for Israel's Iron Dome Pelosi vows to avert government shutdown McConnell calls Trump a 'fading brand' in Woodward-Costa book MORE [R-Ky.] calls us back into session."

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