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Congress confirms Biden’s win after day of shocking pro-Trump violence

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Congress’ certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win came at the end of a joint session disrupted by a pro-Trump mob’s assault on the Capitol.

Congress confirmed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ win in the general election early Thursday, counting electoral votes in their favor despite GOP objections and in defiance of a mob of President Trump’s supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The 270-vote threshold was crossed when lawmakers from both chambers certified the election results from Vermont without objection in a joint session. That came soon after the Senate and House separately swept aside an effort by some Republicans to block Biden’s 20 electoral votes from Pennsylvania, the state where he was born.

Vermont’s three electoral votes for Biden were quickly accepted by Congress, putting him over the top with 271. After the remaining states’ results were certified, Vice President Mike Pence announced about 3:45 a.m. ET Thursday that Biden had won 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.

Confirmation of Biden and Harris’ win by Congress is the final procedural step before the inauguration Jan. 20. It came hours after pro-Trump extremists, encouraged by the president in their unfounded belief of a fraudulent election, overran security barriers and rushed into the Capitol in scenes that shocked both the nation and the world.

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Lawmakers were hustled to secure locations while law enforcement officers fought to secure the building.

The joint session was reconvened Wednesday evening, with several GOP lawmakers who had earlier pledged to object to some states’ results saying they would no longer do so.

Tweets and time stamps offer a timeline of the events that led to a pro-Trump mob storming the Capitol building hours after the president spoke at a rally nearby.

“The events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider, and I cannot now, in good conscience, object,” said Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Georgia Republican who lost the race to keep her seat in a runoff election Tuesday.

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The vote-certifying session of Congress is ordinarily a swift and pro forma affair. In 2017, Trump’s electoral college win over Hillary Clinton was confirmed in 35 minutes in a session jointly presided over by Biden, who was vice president at the time, and then-Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican.

The objections raised by some Republicans in Wednesday’s overnight joint session were destined for failure because of the Democratic majority in the House and insufficient support in the Senate. But they allowed Trump loyalists such as GOP senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas to air the groundless allegations of electoral malfeasance that the president has promoted since his November loss.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned that blocking a presidential candidate’s victory simply because the losing side disliked the result would send American democracy into a “death spiral.”

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McConnell — who is set to relinquish his position as majority leader because of the election to the Senate of two Democrats from Georgia this week — also condemned the mob of Trump backers who drove him and his colleagues off the Senate and House floors.

“They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed,” he said. “They failed.”


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