At least 13 Senate Republicans will prepare to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win Wednesday.
The decision not only proves a fractured GOP, but it also demonstrates the length some will go to show their support of Donald Trump and his baseless claims of a stolen election.
According to Politico, eleven Republican Senators will join Senators Josh Hawley and Kelly Loeffler to challenge Biden’s elected win when Congress meets to certify the Electoral College vote. That movement is spearheaded by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who also came up with the plan to go against the certification if an election audit wasn’t conducted.
“We intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified,'” the senators said. “Unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed.”
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri was the first senator to announce his plan to join with House Republicans to object to the election’s certification. On Saturday, Hawley said he hopes “many more will listen to their constituents and act.”
But not everyone in the GOP supports the efforts; in fact, it has caused a great divide. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is one Republican politician against the movement going on within his party. His state was one of the disputed states cited in lawsuits brought on by Trump and his team.
Toomey has slammed Hawley and Cruz’s movement by saying it “directly undermines” the American people’s right to elect their leaders.
“We should avoid putting words into each other’s mouths and making unfounded claims about the intentions of our fellow senators. I never claim to speak for another senator, but I do speak for my constituents when they raise legitimate concerns about issues as important as the fairness of our elections,” Hawley said Saturday evening, while also responding to Toomey’s statement, calling it “shameless personal attacks.”
Hawley believes that the election debate should take place on the Senate floor and not in the media.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky initially sought to stop his members from opposing, but he has not been actively whipping his mebers to side against those seeking to object to the certification. McConnell told senators on a recent conference call that “this is a very difficult decision for each one of you, you each have to make it yourselves,” according to Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.).
There may be as many as 140 Republican House members set to vote against Joe Biden’s certification.
Biden’s electoral win will be certified by majorities in the Democratic House and the Republican Senate. Still, several GOP senators have remained silent on how they will vote, which makes it questionable how many will get jump on board Cruz’s movement, Politico reports. But it’s safe to say Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah will vote to affirm the 2020 presidential election. Romney called his fellow Republican’s move “an egregious ploy,” and it dangerously “threatens our Democratic Republic.”
The group of GOP senators opposing the certification stand by their defense that there were “unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law.” But Toomey says just because Trump lost; he shouldn’t throw around the idea that he lost due to fraud, especially since there has been no found evidence to support his claims.
Despite what it seems, the group of Republicans claims they are only trying to protect “election integrity” and say it’s not an attempt to go against Biden or overturn the election.
The group of GOP lawmakers consists of Sens. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Mike Braun (Ind.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Steve Daines (Mont.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), John Kennedy (La.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Kelly Loeffler (Ga.), James Lankford (Okla.), as well as Sen.-elects Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.).
In a round of tweets, Trump gave his approval for the group’s move, and Vice President Mike Pence “welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence.”