KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Three Kansas Representatives are joining other GOP leaders in their intent to object to certain states during the Jan. 6 Electoral College certification of votes and certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
Rep. Ron Estes (R-Kansas), Rep. Tracey Mann (R-Kansas) and Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-Kansas) released the following statement Sunday.
“It is the duty of Congress to certify electors for the presidential election based on the laws passed by state legislators. With several states facing serious allegations of voter fraud and violations of their own state laws, the Kansas Republican delegation in the House will object to the certification of electors in multiple states on Jan. 6. This action is not taken lightly and comes after extensive study and research. Kansans deserve to know that all legal, and only legal, votes were counted. We hope our actions begin to restore the confidence of tens of millions of our fellow Americans that feel their sacred right to vote is under attack.”
U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who was sworn in Sunday and took over longtime Senator Pat Roberts seat announced Saturday he would also be supporting an objection.
“We must hold accountable any state that disregarded the law or our constitution,” Marshall tweeted Saturday. “The Electoral College is only as strong as the states who are entrusted to follow election laws. That is why I will be supporting objection and debate next week.”
Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who was the first to buck Senate leadership by saying he would join with House Republicans in objecting to the state tallies during Wednesday’s joint session of Congress.
President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat is tearing the party apart as Republicans are forced to make consequential choices that will set the contours of the post-Trump era. Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas, are both among potential 2024 presidential contenders.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had urged his party not to try to overturn what nonpartisan election officials have concluded was a free and fair vote.
Trump, the first president to lose a reelection bid in almost 30 years, has attributed his defeat to widespread voter fraud, despite the consensus of nonpartisan election officials and even Trump’s attorney general that there was none. Of the roughly 50 lawsuits the president and his allies have filed challenging election results, nearly all have been dismissed or dropped. He’s also lost twice at the U.S. Supreme Court.
The convening of the joint session to count the Electoral College votes is usually routine. While objections have surfaced before — in 2017, several House Democrats challenged Trump’s win — few have approached this level of intensity.
Caught in the middle is Vice President Mike Pence, who faces growing pressure from Trump’s allies over his ceremonial role in presiding over the session Wednesday. His chief of staff, Marc Short, said in a statement Saturday that Pence “welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections.”
Several Republicans have indicated they are under pressure from constituents back home to show they are fighting for Trump in his baseless campaign to stay in office.
Pence will be carefully watched as he presides over what is typically a routine vote count in Congress but is now heading toward a prolonged showdown that could extend into Wednesday night, depending on how many challenges are mounted.
To ward off a dramatic unraveling, McConnell convened a conference call with Republican senators Thursday specifically to address the coming joint session and logistics of tallying the vote, according to several Republicans granted anonymity to discuss the private call.
The Republican leader pointedly called on Hawley to answer questions about his challenge to Biden’s victory, according to two of the Republicans.
But there was no response because Hawley was a no-show, the Republicans said.
Hawley’s office said he sent an email afterward to his colleagues explaining his views. In the email, Hawley said constituents back home are “angry and disillusioned” with the outcome of the election.
McConnell had previously warned GOP senators not to participate in raising objections, saying it would be a terrible vote for colleagues. In essence, lawmakers would be forced to choose between the will of the outgoing president and that of the voters.