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McConnell: If Congress overturns election results, it would send democracy into 'death spiral'

Mitch McConnell
Posted at 1:55 PM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 15:10:02-05

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the most powerful Republicans on Capitol Hill, denounced Republican efforts to use the tallying of Electoral College votes as a last-ditch effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

During a speech from the Senate floor, McConnell told his colleagues that his vote on Wednesday would be "the most important vote I have ever cast," adding that if Trump’s allies were successful in overturning the results of the election, “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 said. “We'd never see our country accept an election again."

McConnell added President Donald Trump had exhausted his path to victory.

“But over and over, the courts rejected these claims — including all-star judges whom the President himself nominated," he said. "...we cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids. The voters, the courts and the states have all spoken."

McConnell also criticized Democrats, who raised similar objections when Congress tallied Electoral College wins George W. Bush and in President Donald Trump’s first term. He also chastised the media for attempting to “de-legitimize” Trump’s presidency throughout his first term.

McConnell declined to recognize Joe Biden as president-elect after media outlets projected him the winner of the 2020 election, saying that President Donald Trump had the right to challenge the results. It wasn't until states certified results and the Electoral College cast its votes on Dec. 14 that McConnell recognized Biden as president-elect.

However, since the Electoral College vote, McConnell has cautioned Republicans against using today's vote tallying session as an opportunity to overturn the election results.

McConnell's speech Wednesday came after several Republican lawmakers objected to the Electoral College votes in Arizona, which prompted two hours of debate. Trump's allies have also promised to raise objections in other swing states, like Michigan and Pennsylvania.

However, the push to overturn the election will more than likely fail.

A majority of lawmakers in both chambers of Congress must approve the objections in order to throw out a state's Electoral Count. Democrats control the House of Representatives, and many Republican Senators have said they do not support the effort.

Vice President Mike Pence also said Wednesday that he will not reject the Electoral College results in his role of presiding over the session.