April 12, 2021

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Pence ‘welcomes’ efforts of lawmakers to ‘raise objections’ to Electoral College results | TheHill – The Hill

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Vice President Pence’s chief of staff said in a statement on Saturday that the vice president “welcomes” an effort by some lawmakers to “raise objections” on Jan. 6, when Congress meets to certify the Electoral College vote. 

“Vice President Pence shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election,” Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff said in a statement to The Hill.

“The Vice President 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 before the Congress and the American people on January 6th,” the statement continued.

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The comment is the most extensive remark Pence’s office has made on the Jan. 6 proceedings following a highly contentious election between President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump calls Georgia Senate runoffs ‘both illegal and invalid’ in New Year’s tweets Judge dismisses Gohmert’s election suit against Pence Ex-GOP senator suggests forming new party, calls Trump ‘ringmaster’ of Republicans MORE and President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump calls Georgia Senate runoffs ‘both illegal and invalid’ in New Year’s tweets Judge dismisses Gohmert’s election suit against Pence Ex-GOP senator suggests forming new party, calls Trump ‘ringmaster’ of Republicans MORE.

In the roughly two months since Election Day, Pence has stopped short of explicitly echoing Trump’s language that the election was fraudulent, instead calling for all “legal votes” to be counted. Still, he has not publicly discouraged efforts by the president or his allies to challenge or overturn the election results. 

His statement comes a day after a GOP lawsuit seeking to give him the authority to overturn the election results on Jan. 6 was dismissed for lack of standing.

Pence will preside over the Jan. 6 meeting, but his role is largely ceremonial.

Dozens of incoming and current House Republicans have indicated they would challenge the Electoral College vote during Wednesday’s meeting. GOP Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzHere are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results Growing number of House Republicans warm to proxy voting Florida Democrat files petition to disbar Gaetz MORE (Fla.), Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertJudge dismisses Gohmert’s election suit against Pence That Louie Gohmert lawsuit Arizona GOP chairwoman’s YouTube comments could undercut Republican election lawsuit against Pence MORE (Texas), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarHere are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results Top GOP lawmakers call for Swalwell to be removed from Intelligence Committee House Republicans who didn’t sign onto the Texas lawsuit MORE (Ariz.) and Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceHere are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results Growing number of GOP lawmakers back Electoral College challenge The Hill’s Morning Report – Congress passes year-end COVID-19 relief, omnibus deal MORE (Ga.) are some of the Republicans who plan to challenge the Electoral College vote when Congress meets next week. 

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Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyEx-GOP senator suggests forming new party, calls Trump ‘ringmaster’ of Republicans Georgia keeps Senate agenda in limbo Frustrations flare as ,000 checks blocked for fourth straight day MORE (R-Mo.) was the first GOP senator to indicate that he would join the effort last week. His objection, along with one House lawmaker is enough to ensure that both chambers would have to debate and vote in the House and Senate over the issue. 

A majority in both chambers would have to vote to uphold the objection in order for it to be successful.

However, the effort is not likely to succeed since Democrats control the House, and several GOP senators have said they would oppose any objections.

Hawley, along with other Republican lawmakers have raised concerns about the number of allegations of voter fraud following the 2020 presidential election. Trump and his allies have alleged repeatedly the election was effected by widespread voter fraud.

However, top election officials, in addition to former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr have confirmed that there is no evidence of widespread fraud. 

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The movement to challenge the election results next week gained new momentum on Saturday after 11 GOP senators said that they would object until there is a 10-day audit of election returns in certain states.

President-elect Biden won 306 Electoral Votes compared to President Trump’s 232, and Biden led Trump by 7 million votes in the popular vote.

— Brett Samuels contributed

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