Republicans and Democrats respond to plan from some Republicans to object to Electoral College results
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A plan from some Republicans, including Senator Ron Johnson, to object to certifying the Electoral College results is receiving criticism from both sides of the aisle.
In a statement, former House Speaker Paul Ryan said:
“All our basic rights and freedoms flow from a fidelity to the Constitution and the rule of law. This principle is not only fundamentally American but a central tenet of conservatism. Under our system, voters determine the president, and this self-governance cannot sustain itself if the whims of Congress replace the will of the people. I urge members to consider the precedent that it would set.
“Efforts to reject the votes of the Electoral College and sow doubt about Joe Biden’s victory strike at the foundation of our republic. It is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans. The fact that this effort will fail does not mean it will not do significant damage to American democracy.
“The Trump campaign had ample opportunity to challenge election results, and those efforts failed from lack of evidence. The legal process was exhausted, and the results were decisively confirmed. The Department of Justice, too, found no basis for overturning the result. If states wish to reform their processes for future elections, that is their prerogative. But Joe Biden’s victory is entirely legitimate.”
A statement from several House Republicans, including Rep. Mike Gallagher from Wisconsin released a statement that said in part:
We, like most Americans, are outraged at the significant abuses in our election system resulting from the reckless adoption of mail-in ballots and the lack of safeguards maintained to guarantee that only legitimate votes are cast and counted. It is shameful that between both chambers of the U.S. Congress, we have held precisely one hearing on election integrity since Election Day.
"The people cannot trust a system that refuses to guarantee that only legal votes are cast to select its leaders. The elections held in at least six battleground states raise profound questions, and it is a legal, constitutional, and moral imperative that they be answered.
The statement went on to say:
"To take action otherwise – that is, to unconstitutionally insert Congress into the center of the presidential election process – would amount to stealing power from the people and the states. It would, in effect, replace the electoral college with Congress, and in so doing strengthen the efforts of those on the left who are determined to eliminate it or render it irrelevant.
"From a purely partisan perspective, Republican presidential candidates have won the national popular vote only once in the last 32 years. They have therefore depended on the electoral college for nearly all presidential victories in the last generation. If we perpetuate the notion that Congress may disregard certified electoral votes—based solely on its own assessment that one or more states mishandled the presidential election—we will be delegitimizing the very system that led Donald Trump to victory in 2016, and that could provide the only path to victory in 2024.
Democrats have also responded.
"It’s a sad day for the country when people are willing to put their politics before their constituents. Cleary we know the results of the election, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won by millions and millions of votes. They won by a good substantial Electoral College margin and now they’re trying to throw some doubt in the process just to make Donald Trump feel better," Congressman Mark Pocan said.
"If people don’t believe in our democracy, they certainly don’t need to be seated as representatives of Congress, and so I’m very concerned. This is history, this is history of our democracy which it’s very, very fragile," said Congresswoman Gwen Moore.
Congress will meet on January 6.