A joint session of the US Congress, presided over by Vice President Mike Pence, on Wednesday is scheduled to count the result of the November 3 presidential election and officially confirm the Electoral College votes won by President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
However, a large number of Republican members including more than 100 members of the House of Representatives and over a dozen Senators, are expected to raise their opposition to the counting of votes and election results.
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House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in her ‘Dear Colleague letter’ that the Congress meeting tomorrow will declare Joe Biden and Kamala Harris the next President and Vice President of the United States.
Observing that the Joint Session should be a solemn occasion, Pelosi said there are no speaking roles during the session, except for announcing the votes of the states.
Pelosi, in her letter, wrote that during the Joint Session, access to the Floor of the House will be limited to those Members who are scheduled to speak during the House debate where there is an objection.
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Unless participating in the House debate, members are encouraged to remain in their offices unless called to vote. Despite objections from a group of lawmakers and a potential debate, the Joint Session of the Congress is likely to certify Biden’s victory.
US President Donald Trump, a Republican, has not conceded the election, arguing unverified claims that the presidential polls were rigged. Dozens of lawsuits by his campaign challenging election results have failed in US courts.
US congress election results 2020
The entire process is likely to go on for many hours. Pence will preside on Wednesday over a roll call of the states. If at least one senator and one House member object to the results from a state, they can force a debate of up to two hours about those results. Each chamber will then vote separately on whether to certify that state’s results.
As per the Constitution, the vice president opens each state’s sealed certificates in alphabetical order and hands them to one of four ‘tellers’ — a Republican and a Democrat from each chamber who review the certificates and announce the state’s votes.
The counting is typically procedural and efficient, by congressional standards. But objections to states’ votes, which Republicans have promised, will extend the process.
The House and Senate are expected to debate objections to the results in at least three states — Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, all of which went to Biden — but ultimately to certify Biden’s 306-to-232 Electoral College victory over President Trump, the daily reported.
Meanwhile, members of Pennsylvania state have written a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, saying they believe that state results should not have been certified by the Secretary of State. A copy of the letter was tweeted by Trump.