The following is from an early morning January 6, 2021 article from Bloomberg, published in the Washington Post, describing the legal backdrop for, and the history of, the parliamentary machinations planned by Trump supporters in Congress:
3. What happens then?
If at least one representative and one senator object to a state’s result, the joint session immediately recesses before the next state is called. The House and Senate meet separately to debate the objection for up to two hours before voting on whether to count or discard the electoral votes in question. Only if the objection is approved by both houses would votes be excluded. With a Democratic majority in the House, and several Republican senators on record opposing Trump’s attempts to overturn Biden’s win, any objection would be highly unlikely to succeed in getting electoral votes thrown out. But if separate two-hour debates are required for multiple states, the process could become a drawn-out, acrimonious affair.
5. Have objections been raised before?
Actually, objections aren’t rare during this process, but usually they are disposed of quickly and easily. After the 2016 election won by Trump, for instance, several Democratic representatives attempted to challenge electoral votes, but no senator joined them. In 2005, following the contest between George W. Bush and John Kerry, some Democrats were unhappy about voting issues that had come up in Ohio. In that instance, both Ohio Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones and California Senator Barbara Boxer objected to Ohio’s results, triggering consideration by both chambers. After about an hour of debate among senators — and lengthier debate among representatives — the challenge was rejected by votes of 267-31 by the House and 74-1 by the Senate.
6. Has Congress ever rejected votes?
In 1873, Congress decided not to count votes from Arkansas and Louisiana in the re-election of President Ulysses S. Grant, though Grant would have been the victor either way, according to the Congressional Research Service. Four years later, in 1877, a joint session of Congress confronting competing slates of electors opted to create a bipartisan electoral commission to resolve the highly disputed election between Democrat Samuel Tilden and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, who ended up winning by a single electoral vote. In hopes of avoiding such a situation in the future, Congress passed the Electoral College Act of 1887, which formed the basis for the current law. There have been no cases to date in which the process has changed the outcome of an election, according to the Congressional Research Service.
For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.source
On the other hand, if thousands in that massive MAGA crowd hadn’t been so timid that day — and had followed the bold, riled up, normal tourist crowd that beat the Capitol police, smashed windows, broke down doors and invaded the Capitol — Mike Pence likely wouldn’t be around today to boldly tell a crowd of Republicans in New Hampshire:
“As I said that day, Jan. 6 was a dark day in history of the United States Capitol. But thanks to the swift action of the Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, violence was quelled. The Capitol was secured,” Pence said.
“And that same day, we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States,” Pence continued. “You know, President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office. And I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day.”
Then, because Pence is what he is, and has always been, he added:
“I will not allow Democrats or their allies in the media to use one tragic day to discredit the aspirations of millions of Americans. Or allow Democrats or their allies in the media to distract our attention from a new administration intent on dividing our country to advance their radical agenda,” Pence said. “My fellow Republicans, for our country, for our future, for our children and our grandchildren, we must move forward, united.”
“I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day.”
Or, as one internet wag put it right after Pence’s brave words were spoken:
Which is kind of a low blow. It’s not as if Trump was watching the riot live on TV, and tweeted anything like this moments after his MAGA crowd of normal tourists, who’d erected a working gallows outside (as normal tourists so often do) breached Capitol security and roamed the halls chanting “Hang Mike Pence!”
Indeed we do, boss.