Hawley to still object to Pennsylvania after Capitol breached

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is going forward with his plan to object to Pennsylvania’s Electoral College results, even as many of the 14 GOP senators who had supported challenging the election results are backing down. 

Hawley’s plan guarantees that the Senate will have to vote on objections to at least two states, with the chamber currently debating a separate objection to Arizona’s results. 

“Senator Hawley spoke during the debate on the Arizona objection, but he will object to Pennsylvania once Congress returns to the joint session, and when the Senate and House go back to their chambers for the debate on Pennsylvania, he will yield his speaking time to move toward a vote,” said Kelli Ford, a spokesperson for Hawley. 

Even if Hawley yields his time, other senators will still be able to fill the two hours designated for the debate. The House would also have its own two-hour debate.

Republicans had hoped that they had convinced their colleagues to drop their objections to Georgia and Pennsylvania after the proceedings were suspended for hours after rioters stormed the Capitol and breached both the House and Senate chambers. 

Hawley spoke briefly from the Senate floor about Pennsylvania but didn’t directly say whether or not he was sticking by his plan to object.  

“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. 

Hawley was one of at least 14 GOP senators who had planned to support efforts to overturn the election results in key states. 

But several of those senators have dropped their plans after rioters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.  

“The events that transpired have forced me to reconsider and I cannot now in good conscience object to certification of these electors. The violence, the lawlessness and siege of the halls of Congress are abhorrent and stand as a direct attack on what my objection was intended to protect, the sanctity of the American democratic process,” Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) said from the Senate floor. 

Loeffler had been expected to object to the election results from Georgia, a day after losing her bid for the final two years of retired Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term.  

Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who had both signed on to a letter from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) supporting challenging the results unless a commission was formed to provide a 10-day audit, also backed down on Wednesday night. 

“We must, and we will, have a peaceful and orderly transition of power. The violent actions of these rioters severely damages efforts to restore confidence in our elections. We will continue our calls to examine election integrity through all legal and peaceful means,” they said in a joint statement. 

“We now need the entire Congress to come together and vote to certify the election results. We must stand together as Americans. We must defend our Constitution and the rule of law,” they added. 

Tags James Lankford Johnny Isakson Josh Hawley Kelly Loeffler Steve Daines Ted Cruz

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