Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly urged GOP senators to refrain from objecting to electoral votes when it comes time to count them in Congress next month, making the remarks on a caucus call Tuesday.
McConnell, who formally recognized Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president-elect and vice president-elect on Tuesday, reportedly told colleagues that an objection “isn’t in the best interest of everybody,” per the Hill:
McConnell warned that any GOP senator who signed onto a House Republican objection to a state’s electoral votes would then force the Senate to debate and vote on the objection, putting fellow GOP senators in a bad position.
McConnell was not the only Republican leader to make the request, with Republican Whip Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Rules Committee Chairman Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) making the same call, though there is no indication, currently, that any GOP senators plan to object to the results.
MCCONNEL: it’s a “terrible vote” for the GOP. They’d have to vote it down, which makes it seem like they are anti Trump, he said
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) December 15, 2020
“I think that there was encouragement on the phone for us to accept the result, as much as it’s not what we, you know, would have envisioned for the next four years, and to try to do what’s best for American people, which is to look forward,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said, according to the Hill.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) also said he has not heard any rumblings of GOP senators poised to reject the results.
On Monday, Republican electors in key swing states cast alternate slates of electoral votes to help keep President Donald Trump’s legal challenges afloat, particularly in the event of a viable challenge in Congress.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) plans to object to next month’s count, which will take place January 6. However, he needs a GOP senator to join him in order to launch the challenge successfully.
“Well, it’s happened many times in the past,” Brooks said during a Monday appearance on Fox News Business’s Lou Dobbs Tonight. “Apparently, some folks have not done their history.”
“By way of example, the Democrats in the House tried it in 2017 when they tried to strike Alabama’s votes for Donald Trump. Georgia, the same way, the House Democrats tried to strike it. Barbara Boxer tried to strike Ohio for George Bush back in 2005, so this is not unusual,” he continued, adding that the “law is very clear.”
“The House of Representatives, in combination with the United States Senate, has the lawful authority to accept or reject Electoral College vote submissions from states that have such flawed election systems that they’re not worthy of our trust,” Brooks said.