Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona brought Wednesday’s joint session of Congress to a swift halt by objecting to the Electoral College vote on behalf of Arizona.
“I rise for myself and 60 of my colleagues to object to the counting of the electoral ballots from Arizona,” Gosar said, according to C-SPAN.
When Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the joint sessions, asked if the objection was sponsored by a senator, Cruz rose and — to the applause of GOP legislators, many in a standing ovation — said that it was.
The clerk of the joint session then read the text of the brief objection, which said the votes were not “regularly given.”
Congressman Paul Gosar and Senator Ted Cruz object to the electoral college submission of Arizona pic.twitter.com/OaUARI4zGu
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) January 6, 2021
Pence then halted the joint session.
“The two houses will withdraw from joint session,” he said. “Each house will deliberate separately on the pending objection and report its decision back to the joint session.”
Senators then left the House chamber to return to the Senate chamber, where a two-hour debate would take place on the objection.
Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana was the first GOP speaker in the House as it debated the objection.
Scalise noted that the Constitution gave state legislatures the power to oversee elections.
“Madam Speaker, in a number of those states, that constitutional process was not followed and that’s why we’re here to object,” he said, addressing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.
Scalise said governors, secretaries of state and the courts are not given that power, adding that “we’ve seen over and over again more states where the Democrat Party has gone in and selectively gone around that process.”
“That has to end, Madam Speaker. We have to follow the constitutional process,” he said.
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio added, “Americans instinctively know there was something wrong with this election. … Somehow, the guy who never left his house wins the election?”
“Eighty million Americans, 80 million of our fellow citizens, Republicans and Democrats, have doubts about this election, and 60 million people, 60 million Americans, think it was stolen,” Jordan said.
“But Democrats say, ‘No problem. No worries. Everything’s fine,'” he said. “All the Democrats care about is making sure that President Trump isn’t president. For four and a half years, that’s all they cared about.”
After citing states such as Pennsylvania and Georgia where Jordan said election rules were cast aside, the congressman said the issue is bigger than one election.
“Some members say, ‘Don’t worry about it. We shouldn’t do anything. Just let it go. It was just six states who violated the Constitution.’
“What if it’s 10 states next time? What if it’s 15? What if in 2024, 2028, it’s 26 states? What if it’s half the states doing an end run around the Constitution?”
“We are the final check and balance. The authority rests with us, the United States Congress, the body closest to the American people, right where the founders wanted it. We should do our duty. We should object to and vote for this objection to the Arizona elections,” he said.
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