Congress has officially certified Joe Biden to be the 46th President of the United States, and he will receive the oath of office on Jan. 20.
By Jon Johnson
WASHINGTON D.C. – Ater a day of unprecedented action at our nation’s Capitol that included the shooting death of a woman and the death of three others due to medical emergencies and 14 injured police officers, Congress reconvened and confirmed Joesph R. Biden and Kamala Harris as the next president and vice president of the United States, as the Gila Herald initially reported on Nov. 7.
Vice President Mike Pence oversaw the counting of the electoral votes at the joint session of Congress in the very building that had been overrun earlier in the day.
“The votes for President of the United States are as follows: Joseph R. Biden Jr. of the state of Delaware has received 306 votes, Donald J. Trump of the state of Florida has received 232 votes,” Pence said.
Pence also read that Harris received 306 votes for Vice President of the United States and that he had received 232.
At 3:32 a.m., EST, Pence read the results for Vermont, which gave Biden more than the 270 electoral votes needed for the majority and the victory. At the end of the counting at about 3:41 a.m., EST, Pence then declared Biden as the 46h president and Kamala Harris as the vice president of the United States, starting Jan. 20.
“The announcement of the vote by the President of the Senate shall be deemed a significant declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the United States,” Pence said. “Each for the term beginning on the 20th day of January 2021 . . .”
Earlier in the day, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) advised against objecting to the electoral votes from the states and said doing so would doom our electoral system.
“The voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken,” McConnell said. “They’ve all spoken. If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever. This election actually was not unusually close. Just in recent history, 1976, 2000, and 2004 were all closer than this one. The Electoral College margin is almost identical to what it was in 2016. If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. We’d never see the whole nation accept an election again. Every four years, there’d be a scramble for power at any cost. The Electoral College, which most of us on this side have been defending for years, would cease to exist, leaving many of our states with no real say at all in choosing a president.”
Pence was strong in his resolve, going through the orderly action. Congress had to be separated into its respective houses only twice during the action, to debate objections over the vote in Arizona – which had just occurred prior to the insurrection – and to Pennsylvania.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) signed on with House of Representative members to object to Arizona’s electoral votes. The House voted against the objection 303-121, and the Senate voted against the objection 93-6.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R. S.C.), spoke on the floor prior to the chamber vote on the Arizona objection and said the effort wouldn’t do any good and instead would just give “credibility to a dark chapter of our history.”
Graham, who had been a staunch supporter of President Trump, broke with the president and said even though he prayed Trump would win, he did not.
“He’s the legitimate president of the United States,” Graham said.
“I cannot convince people, certain groups, by my words. But I will tell you by my actions . . . Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the president and vice president of the United States on January the 20th.”
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) signed on after the insurrection with House of Representative members to object to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes. The House voted against the objection 282-138, and the Senate voted against the objection 92-7.
Other planned objections to the votes in Georgia, Nevada, and Michigan were dismissed outright after the senators who had previously signed on to them removed their names after the day’s events. At each time when Pence declared the objections did not meet the criteria, lawmakers cheered, and then the orderly counting continued until the ultimate result of Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president was declared.