Blackburn on the GOP coalition challenging the electoral college: ‘We should get answers to this’
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., discusses the GOP coalition challenging the 2020 presidential election results.
A group of Republican senators led by Ted Cruz are "still discussing" which states, if any, they will object to during the Jan. 6 certification of the presidential election results, with sources telling Fox News that "no conclusions" have been reached yet.
Cruz, R-Texas, and the group — which includes Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; Mike Braun of Indiana; Steve Daines of Montana; Bill Hagerty of Tennessee; Ron Johnson of Wisconsin; John Kennedy of Louisiana; James Lankford of Oklahoma; Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming; Roger Marshall of Kansas, and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama — said over the weekend they would object to the certification unless there was an emergency 10-day audit of the results by an electoral commission.
HOUSE REPUBLICANS PRESSURE SENATE GOP TO OBJECT TO AT LEAST 3 STATES IN JAN. 6 CERTIFICATION OF ELECTORAL COLLEGE RESULTS
But as of Monday, a source familiar told Fox News that discussions are ongoing. Another source told Fox News that the senators have been engaged in numerous phone calls and conference calls, but said that "no conclusions" had been reached.
Republicans in the House of Representatives have begun putting pressure on Republicans in the upper chamber of Congress to object to election results in at least three states in an effort to impact the outcome of the presidential race – which was called, in November, in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.
House Republican sources told Fox News Sunday that there is a growing concern that the Republican senators will not object to enough states to make a difference in the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, which the Electoral College has decided in favor of Biden.
Two House Republican officials told Fox News that more than 100 GOP House members will object to the election results in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin.
"If the Republican senators don’t object to enough states, the entire effort on Jan. 6 is worthless," a House Republican official told Fox News. "To have any chance of impacting the outcome of the 2020 election, the Republican senators must join Republican House members in objecting at least three states and ideally all six states – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin.
"If Republican senators only object to one state, Joe Biden will undoubtedly secure enough electoral votes to become president," the official continued, adding that "the pressure really is on the Republican senators like Ted Cruz to join House Republicans here."
"If they don’t, it will be a great disappointment to the president, their constituents, and ensure a Joe Biden victory," the official said.
Last month, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., became the first Republican senator to commit to objecting to the election results, and specifically said he would do so in at least one state – Pennsylvania.
The group led by Cruz has yet to explicitly commit to objecting to any specific state, and instead called for "an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states." "Once completed, individual states would evaluate the commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed," the group led by Cruz said over the weekend.
If that doesn't happen, the senators intend to vote against certification.
"Accordingly, we intend to vote on Jan. 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed," they said in the statement.
Meanwhile, two sources told Fox News that Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., separately, may object to at least one state during the joint session, but it is unclear, at this point, which state, if any, that may be.
GOP SENATORS, LED BY CRUZ, TO OBJECT TO ELECTORAL COLLEGE CERTIFICATION, DEMAND EMERGENCY AUDIT
Paul’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The issue of Electoral College certification, though, is not being whipped by Senate Republican leadership, meaning they are not driving the Republican conference in a certain direction. As previously reported, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has referred to this as a "vote of conscience."
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators on Sunday said efforts to object to the Electoral College results this week by Republicans only will "undermine" confidence in the 2020 election.
"The 2020 election is over. All challenges through recounts and appeals have been exhausted," said a statement by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Mark Warner, D-Va.; Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Angus King, I-Maine; Mitt Romney, R-Utah; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
"At this point, further attempts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election are contrary to the clearly expressed will of the American people and only serve to undermine Americans’ confidence in the already determined election results," they continued. "The voters have spoken, and Congress must now fulfill its responsibility to certify the election results."
The group added that in two weeks they "will begin working with our colleagues and the new administration on bipartisan, common-sense solutions to the enormous challenges facing our country."
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They added: "It is time to move forward."
President Trump’s campaign has launched a number of legal challenges, while Trump himself has urged states with Republican governors and legislatures to overturn Biden’s victories.
While the Trump campaign has challenged the results in dozens of lawsuits, judges in multiple states have shot them down. Attorney General William Barr told the Associated Press last month that "to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election."
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