Despite opposition from some Republicans and calls to establish an election commission to investigate claims of fraud in several swing states won by Joe Biden, Congress overwhelmingly approved the certification to make Biden the president on January 20.
On Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) objection to certifying votes from Arizona — which the Senate was debating when it was interrupted by the breach — the Senate voted 93 to 6 to formally count the state.
Cruz maintained his position after the chaos and voted to sustain his objection, while Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) voted against it.
More Republicans supported the objection in the House, but it still failed in a 303 to 121 vote.
All Democrats in the Texas delegation opposed the measure, alongside six GOP members:
- Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-02)
- Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23)
- Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10)
- Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21)
- Rep. Van Taylor (R-TX-03)
- Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX-24)
Fifteen of Texas’ representatives voted to sustain the objection:
- Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX-19)
- Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX-36)
- Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX-26)
- Rep. John Carter (R-TX-31)
- Rep. Michael Cloud (R-TX-27)
- Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX-04)
- Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01)
- Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX-05)
- Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX-13)
- Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX-22)
- Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX-11)
- Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX-17)
- Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX-14)
- Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX-25)
- Rep. Ron Wright (R-TX-06)
Notably, though Fallon, Jackson, and Nehls supported the objection, they were part of a group of congressmen — which also included Gonzales — that had earlier helped Capitol Police barricade the House chamber to prevent the mob from entering.
Reps. Kevin Brady (R-TX-08) and Kay Granger (R-TX-12) are both quarantining after positive COVID-19 tests and did not vote, though Brady released a statement in support of the certification.
After the objection to Arizona’s vote failed, both chambers of Congress returned to their joint session to resume counting the states’ votes in alphabetical order.
House Republicans raised objections to the states of Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada, but without the support of any senator, those objections could not be debated or voted on.
Several senators planned to object but changed their position after the Capitol was stormed.
On an objection to the votes from the state of Pennsylvania, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) joined Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) to force a vote.
The Senate moved straight to a vote on the objection, which failed with only seven senators supporting it, including Cruz.
During the debate on the floor, tensions grew high between Republicans and Democrats, with a fist fight nearly breaking out with Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD).
Harris had objected to a Democratic member’s claim that the House floor had been breached, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) shut down the objection.
As the Democrat continued to speak, Harris continued shouting and reportedly taunted members on the other side of the aisle.
A group of Democrats can be seen rushing toward Harris, and initial reports from press members in the gallery incorrectly claimed that Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX-32) — a former NFL linebacker — was at the forefront.
However, Harris clarified that Allred “stepped in only to ease tensions at the end of a difficult day.”
After all of the tensions in the late hours of the night — or rather, the early hours of the morning — the House rejected the objection to Pennsylvania in a 282 to 138 vote with all Texas members voting the same way as with the Arizona objection except Van Duyne.
“While I did not support the objection of electors from the state of Arizona, I believe voting against electors from Pennsylvania was constitutionally correct and our best opportunity to stand up for federalism, the rule of law, and justice that is owed to the American public,” said Van Duyne in a press release.
Gohmert objected to the state of Wisconsin, but since no senator joined him in writing, the objection fell flat without a vote.
While several lawmakers in Congress changed their views after the incursion on Capitol Hill, those of the Texas delegation remained relatively unchanged since several days ago.
At the end of the joint session, Congress certified the electoral college handing Biden a victory with 306 electoral votes over Trump’s 232.
Cruz reiterated his condemnation of the violent mob at the Capitol earlier in the day and stated, “Now, we must come together and put this anger and division behind us. We must stand side-by-side as Americans. We must continue to defend our Constitution and the rule of law.”
“That’s why my colleagues and I called for an electoral commission to give Americans confidence in this past election and in elections going forward,” said Cruz. “Millions of Americans who have peacefully expressed their deep concerns regarding election integrity deserve to have their voices heard.”
Trump reportedly stated, “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.