News and Commentary

Mitch McConnell Gives Fiery Senate Speech Rebuking Electoral College Challenge

"I will vote to respect the people’s decision and defend our system of government as we know it.”
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 01: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives at the U.S. Capitol on January 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate is scheduled to convene today to resume consideration to potentially override President Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act. (Photo by Liz Lynch/Getty Images)
Liz Lynch/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave a fiery speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, openly rebuking fellow Republicans who say they will challenge the Electoral College vote and will refuse to certify Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

McConnell’s speech opened a debate period on the Electoral College vote, which happened at the end of September but is up for certification in Congress Wednesday. The senior Republican made his feelings on the matter clear, publicly defying President Donald Trump’s push to overturn the official election results, and pre-empting a move by a dozen Republican senators who say they’ll vote against certification.

“We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids,” McConnell began, opening the debate. “The voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken. They’ve all spoken. If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever.”

“If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral,” McConnell continued, referencing the Trump campaign’s allegations of widespread vote fraud and calling them “sweeping conspiracy theories.” “We’d never see our country accept an election again.”

“Nothing before us proves illegality of the massive scale that would have tipped the entire election,” McConnell said. “Nor can public doubt alone justify a radical break when the doubt was incited without any evidence.”

The campaign’s claims of widespread, coordinated vote fraud in several states have gone largely unproven, and the campaign’s dozens of legal challenges, filed in both state and federal courts, have failed, including several appeals to the United States Supreme Court.

McConnell’s most blistering words were aimed at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), and the ten others who said, earlier this week, that they would try to upend the process, refusing to certify the Electoral College vote unless select states conducted a 10-day emergency “audit” of voting procedures

“I will not pretend such a vote would be a harmless protest gesture,” McConnell said. “I will vote to respect the people’s decision and defend our system of government as we know it.”

McConnell did not just target Republicans in his speech, though, but hit at both parties.

“Self government, my colleagues, requires a shared commitment to the truth,” McConnell added, addressing the full Senate.

“We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes with a separate set of facts and separate realities with nothing in common except our hostility for each other,” he said. “The United States Senate has a higher calling than an endless spiral of partisan vengeance.”

“I believe protecting our constitutional order requires recognizing the limits of our own power,” he concluded.

Watch McConnell’s full, eight-minute remarks.

Despite objections to the certification vote, Congress is likely to approve the Electoral College results. As The Daily Wire reported earlier on Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence noted, in a statement released Wednesday morning, that after consulting with Constitutional attorneys who informed him that he has no authority to replace or question electors, who are selected by the individual states, he will not stand in the way of the certification process.

“When the Joint Session of Congress convenes today, I will do my duty to see to it that we open the certificates of the Electors of the several states, we bear objections raised by Senators and Representatives, and we count the votes of the Electoral College for President and Vice President in a manner consistent with our Constitution, laws, and history. So Help Me God,” he said.

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