With the litigation challenging the 2020 presidential election results having largely run their course, the current plan to continue contesting the election is for Republicans in Congress to formally object on Jan. 6 to the ratification of the Dec. 14 Electoral College vote that made Democratic nominee Joe Biden the presumptive president-elect.
While only a few dozen congressional Republicans have gone on record to confirm their plan to object, a recent report indicated that as many as 140 House Republicans could voice their objections to Biden’s purported victory during the joint session of Congress, according to Breitbart.
Objections in the House
The estimation of 140 House Republicans formally objecting to Biden’s apparent victory over President Donald Trump came from CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday.
“2 House Republicans tell me they expect as of now that at least 140 Republican Members of the House will on Jan 6 object to and vote against the Electoral College results showing President-elect Biden won,” Tapper tweeted.
That would be a significant show of opposition to Biden among House Republicans, but it could conceivably end up being an even greater number than that, at least according to Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), an outgoing Republican member of Congress who won’t be there to witness it firsthand.
In an interview with Forbes, Riggleman said the number of those who object will be “staggering” and that “140 certainly seems possible … I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a little higher.”
Riggleman, who is not a fan of Trump and was primaried out of office by a more Trump-friendly Republican, suggested that “pressure” was being placed on House Republicans to join the movement to object, largely in an effort to placate the party’s disgruntled base, even as it was generally viewed as an effort that was unlikely to succeed.
Objection in the Senate
Of course, every single House Republican could object on Jan. 6 and it wouldn’t mean a thing unless at least one Senate Republican also stood to formally register an objection. In this case, the two chambers would engage in their own separate debates and hold votes on whether or not to accept the state elector slates that had been objected to.
Thus far, the only Senate Republican who has announced his intention to object is Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO).
“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election law,” he said in a statement Wednesday.
Hawley further cited prior objections by Democrats to Republican presidential victories, particularly in 2005 and 2017, and raised the issue of Big Tech interference in the run-up to the election as well as the numerous allegations of various ballot fraud and procedural irregularities that were said to have occurred on Nov. 3 and thereafter.
Ironically, while it will be Biden’s purported victory that will be the subject of the expected objections, Forbes noted that Biden himself, while still serving as vice president in January 2017, had to shut down nine separate objections from House Democrats to Trump’s victory — for alleged voter suppression, civil rights violations, and Russian interference — because no Democratic senators had supported those objections.