After a mob of mostly Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in an attempt to disrupt the certification of the Electoral College, Congress reconvened under the leadership of Vice President Mike Pence to officially confirm Joe Biden as president-elect. It’s a sign that despite the chaos, democracy continues to move forward.
The outcome of the 2020 election was disappointing and frustrating, with numerous allegations of voter fraud. This is especially the case for the millions of Americans who voted for Donald Trump. Many came to Washington D.C. on the promise that Vice President Pence would somehow halt the Electoral College certification process.
Pence instead released a letter, stating, “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…. Today I want to assure the American people that I will keep the oath I made to them and I will keep the oath I made to Almighty God.”
Soon a violent mob descended on the Capitol and successfully breached the building, smashing windows, looting and trashing congressional offices. It’s the first time that’s happened since the British burned down the original in 1814.
As one group of protestors were attempting to enter the House chamber, a woman identified as Ashli Babbitt of San Diego was tragically shot and later died. Three other people had medical emergencies and also died.
It was a sad day for the country.
However, after the Capitol police successfully regained control of the building and expelled all the protestors, our elected representatives returned to finish what they had started. Proving that democracy in action, regardless of what political party is in power, is the cornerstone of America.
In remarks made before Congress continued with the Electoral College certification process, Vice President Pence said, “Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people’s house. And as we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy.
“For even in the wake of unprecedented violence and vandalism at this Capitol, the elected representatives of the people of the United States have assembled again, on the very same day, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. So may God bless the lost, the injured and the heroes forged on this day. May God bless all who serve here and those who protect this place. And may God bless the United States of America. Let’s get back to work.”
The reconvened Congress began with hearing the objections about Arizona’s electoral results led by Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Congressman Paul Gosar, R-Arizona. Both the Senate and House rejected the objection after a debate. Later, Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., objected to the results in Pennsylvania, which was also rejected.
There were more Senators who were considering voicing their concerns about the election results—however, many changed course after the violence.
Lindsey Graham, who has been a strong supporter of President Trump, spoke on the Senate floor, stating, “I don’t buy this. Enough’s enough. We’ve got to end it. Vice President Pence, what they are asking you to do you won’t do because you can’t…If you’re a conservative, this is the most offensive concept in the world, that a single person could disenfranchise 155 million people.”
He ended with, “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the president and vice president of the United States on January the 20th,” he said to applause from his colleagues.
The Electoral College certification officially concluded after 3:00 a.m. Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the nation’s 46th president on January 20, 2021.
Photo from POOL/REUTERS