CHICAGO (CBS) — Republican Indiana U.S. Sen. Todd Young says he will vote to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory when Congress meets on Wednesday.
“As Congress meets to formally receive the votes of the Electoral College, I will uphold my Constitutional duty and certify the will of the states as presented. The people voted and the Electoral College voted. Congress must fulfill its role in turn,” Young said in a statement. “Like so many of my patriotic constituents and colleagues, I too wish the results of this election were different. I strongly supported President Trump and his agenda the last four years. I campaigned hard for him. But upon assuming this office, I took a solemn, inviolable oath to support and defend our Constitution, just as I did as a United States Marine. I will not violate that oath.”
Young, who supported President Donald Trump’s bid for re-election, said Congress has no authority to do anything other than count the Electoral College results that are reported to the House and Senate.
“For Congress to supplant the will of a state’s certified electors for its own would be unconstitutional and set a dangerous precedent, damaging the integrity of and future respect for the Electoral College. This is not an empty warning. Democrats have already shown the political will to subvert our institutions through calls to pack the Supreme Court, eliminate the filibuster to weaken the Senate, and abolish the Electoral College itself. It would be a grave mistake to join them in this effort,” he said.
Indiana Sen. Mike Braun and at least two of the state’s seven Republican U.S. House members have said they plan to challenge the Electoral College results on Wednesday.
Heading into the joint session, it’s unclear how many states’ results will be challenged, though at least 100 House Republicans and a dozen GOP senators are expected to object to the counting of electoral votes. To force debate and a vote on an objection to a state’s electoral votes, it must be supported in writing by at least one member of the House and one member of the Senate.
Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri has raised issues with Pennsylvania’s election results, specifically, though it’s unclear whether he will object to the electoral votes cast in any other state. The coalition of 11 GOP senators led by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, meanwhile, has not specified how many states’ votes they will challenge, though Cruz is expected to object to Arizona’s electoral votes.
Still, because debate on the objections can last up to two hours, lawmakers are in for a long day.
Republicans’ efforts to challenge the electoral votes are not going to change the outcome of the election. Sustaining an objection and tossing out a state’s votes requires a simple majority from each the House and Senate. With Democrats controlling the House, it’s all but a sure thing the lower chamber will vote down any attempt to invalidate electoral votes cast for Mr. Biden.
Regardless, the president has rested his hopes for a second term on Congress, and the White House has blessed Republicans’ plan to challenge the results.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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