Congress finalizes Biden's win after riot disrupts Capitol

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Melissa Mahtani, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 5:15 p.m. ET, January 7, 2021
44 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:06 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

McConnell: Senate has a “higher calling than an endless spiral of partisan vengeance”

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the "United States Senate has a higher calling than an endless spiral of partisan vengeance" as he dismissed GOP lawmakers’ challenge to Electoral College results. 

McConnell warned against actions that would “guarantee the delegitimatizing efforts after 2016 is a permanent, new routine for both sides.”

“Framers built the Senate to stop short-term passions from boiling over and melting the foundations of our republic. So I believe protecting our constitutional order requires respecting the limits of our own power. It would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise American voters and overrule the courts and the states on this extraordinarily thin basis,” he added.

McConnell closed with this statement: “I will vote to respect the people's decision and defend our system of government as we know it.”


2:06 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Schumer on Republicans objecting to electoral votes: "They will lose. They know that."


Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said those lawmakers who are objecting to Electoral College votes are "in the minority" and "will lose."

"The American people elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be the next President and Vice President of the United States. And yet, a number of our colleagues have organized an effort to undermine and object to that free and fair election. They are in the minority. They will lose. They know that," he said.

He added, "They are going to object to the counting of the vote any way. And in the process they will embarrass themselves, they will embarrass their party, and worst of all they will embarrass their country."

Schumer said that Congress does not determine the outcome of elections — "the people do."

"They have no evidence of widespread voter fraud upon which to base their objections," Schumer said.


1:47 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

McConnell: If election were overturned due to mere allegations, our democracy would enter a "death spiral"

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cautioned against overturning the election results due to "mere allegations" from the other side. He said if that happened, "We'd never see the whole nation accept an election again."

"Every four years would 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 the President. The effects would go even beyond the elections themselves. Self government, my colleagues, requires a shared commitment to the truth and a shared respect for the ground rules of our system," McConnell said.
1:52 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

McConnell: If we overrule voters, "it would damage our republic forever"

From CNN's Aditi Sangal


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in his remarks during the Senate debate on Arizona's electoral results said failing to certifying the results "would damage our republic forever."

"The Constitution gives us here in Congress a limited role. We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids. Voters, courts, states have all spoken. They've all spoken. If we overrule them it would damage our republic forever," he said Wednesday.


3:31 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Police are evacuating the House Cannon office building and James Madison building on Capitol Hill

From CNN's Phil Mattingly Manu Raju and Lauren Fox

The US Capitol Police have ordered staff to evacuate House Cannon building and the James Madison Memorial Building which is part of the Library of Congress. No further information at this time beyond it’s needed due to police activity, per multiple sources.

USCP sent an alert to staff alert to staff about a suspicious package in the 300 Block of First Street SE, advising staff to avoid the area.

Read the alert:

The USCP is continuing to investigate a Suspicious Package in the 300 Block of First Street SE. Staff and other personnel are directed to AVOID THIS AREA until further notice.
The following road closures are in effect due to the investigation: The following road closures are in effect due to the investigation:
-First Street between C and D Streets SE
-New Jersey Avenue between Ivy and D Streets SE
-D Street between New Jersey Avenue and Second Street SE
2:02 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

McConnell: No proof before us of illegality on "massive scale" that would have "tipped the entire election"

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed President Trump's allegations of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election, saying:

"Every election we know features some illegality and irregularity and of course that's unacceptable. I support strong state-led voting reforms. Last year's bizarre pandemic procedures must not become the new norm. But my colleagues, nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale, the massive scale that would have tipped the entire election. Nor can public doubt alone justify a radical break when the doubt itself was incited without any evidence."

"We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on the voters, the courts, when all states have all spoken," he continued.

"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, 2000 and 2004 were all closer than this one. The electoral college margin is almost identical to what it was in 2016," he continued.

McConnell noted in his remarks that he supported Trump's "right to use the legal system."

"Dozens of lawsuits received hearings in courtrooms all across our country. But over and over, the courts rejected these claims including all-star judges whom the President himself has nominated," he said.

1:44 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

McConnell: "This will be the most important vote I've ever cast"


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in his opening remarks during the Senate debate on Arizona's electoral results said that his vote today would be the "most important he ever cast."

"This will be the most important vote I've ever cast. President Trump claims the election was stolen. The assertions range from specific local allegations to constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories," he said.


1:51 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Congress retires to House and Senate chambers to debate objection to Arizona's electoral votes


Following the objection to Arizona's Electoral College votes, lawmakers are headed to the House and Senate chambers to debate.

These debates can only last for a maximum of two hours.

Each lawmaker can be recognized for up to five minutes of talking, although they can yield to their time to other lawmakers. Then, both chambers separately vote on whether to accept or reject the objection.

An objection has to be raised in writing and endorsed by a congressman and senator.

All of today's objections will be voted on, and are expected to fail.

1:20 p.m. ET, January 6, 2021

After Pence formalizes position in letter to Congress, Trump continues pressure 

From CNN's Kevin Liptak 

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Even as Vice President Mike Pence formalized his position that he cannot overturn the results of the election, President Trump continued to pressure him to break the law and decertify electoral college votes.

"Mike Pence, I hope you're going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country. And if you're not, I'm going to be very disappointed in you," Trump said on the Ellipse, moments before Pence released his letter declaring he had no "unilateral" authority to reverse the results.

Trump acknowledged Pence was not likely to follow his demands.

"I’m not hearing good stories," Trump said.

Pence wrote to members of Congress saying:

"It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not," Trump continued holding out hope.

"So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do and I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening to," Trump said.