WASHINGTON — Congress confirmed Democrat Joe Biden as the presidential election winner before dawn Thursday after a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a stunning attempt to overturn the election, undercut the nation’s democracy and keep Trump in the White House.
Lawmakers were resolved to complete the Electoral College tally in a display to the country, and the world, of the nation’s enduring commitment to uphold the will of the voters and the peaceful transfer of power. They pushed through the night with tensions high and the nation’s capital on alert.
Shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday, lawmakers finished their work, confirming Biden won the election. Vice President Mike Pence, presiding over the joint session, announced the tally, 306-232.
Republican Congressman Mike Bost represents southwest Illinois. He released this statement to defend his objections to two state’s electoral votes:
“As a United States representative, I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, no matter how difficult or divisive the issue at hand. And when it comes to certifying a state’s electoral votes, the Constitution is clear: state legislatures set the rules for states in conducting their elections. However, that simply was not the case in certain states in 2020.
Two states in particular, Pennsylvania and Arizona, faced objections in the House and Senate to their electoral vote allocations, prompting floor votes in both chambers. I voted to object to the electoral votes of both states because, in my belief, they failed to meet that constitutional standard. The deeply troubling scenes at the U.S. Capitol yesterday indicate the intense distrust that many Americans have towards the election process. If we have any hope of restoring that faith and healing the deep divisions in our country, our efforts must be rooted in constitutional principles and fair elections.”Rep. Mike Bost
Rioters egged on by Trump, who has spent weeks falsely attacking the integrity of the election and had urged his supporters to descend on Washington to protest Congress’ formal approval of Biden’s victory. Some Republican lawmakers were in the midst of raising objections to the results on his behalf when the proceedings were abruptly halted by the mob.
Together, the protests and the GOP election objections amounted to an almost unthinkable challenge to American democracy and exposed the depths of the divisions that have coursed through the country during Trump’s four years in office. The support Trump has received for his efforts to overturn the election results have badly strained the nation’s democratic guardrails.