Handful Of GOP Lawmakers May Attempt To Block Certification Of Electoral College Vote
Republican lawmakers are considering a “hail Mary” last resort attempting to block President-elect Joe Biden from taking the reins from President Donald Trump. The likelihood of it being successful is more than a longshot, but as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) told Politico, “Nothing is off the table.”
Some GOP members are considering attempting to block the certification of the Electoral College vote, which convenes on Dec. 14. Congress is required to certify those results afterward, and while rare, individual lawmakers are permitted to challenge the results on the Senate or House floor.
Gaetz noted that the method has been tested before — albeit unsuccessfully.
Before Trump’s inauguration, a couple of House Democrats attempted to block the electoral college certification, and similarly in 2001 when Al Gore lost to George W. Bush. In both instances the candidate who ultimately lost had won the popular vote, but not the electoral college.
Despite the procedure yielding no results thus far, it can significantly delay certifications, since each state’s electors are certified separately — given lawmakers multiple opportunities to force delays and debates.
In order to do this, a single House member and senator would have to team up to challenge the slates of electors.
Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) said the idea is seriously being considered by the Freedom Caucus.
Trump would also find easy allies in some of the more conservative freshman lawmakers, who have been outspoken in their support of Trump, such as Georgia congressman-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene.
However, the odds of certification ultimately being rejected by Congress are incredibly slim. That would require a majority vote, and Republicans will only narrowly hold control of the Senate by early January.
Senator-elect Mark Kelly has taken one Republican seat away and Sen. David Perdue‘s (R-Georgia) seat will likely be vacant at the time of certification, since the winner of the January runoff election will probably not be sworn in by that point.
In total, Republicans are looking at a 52-48 majority, or 51-48 if Perdue’s seat is vacant.
That small of a margin would require nearly all Republicans to get on board with the unprecedented and likely controversial move. And several have already come forward and acknowledged Biden as President-elect, despite Trump’s consistent refusal to concede.
Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) have all recognized Biden as the winner and would likely not move forward with such a contentious legal block.