WASHINGTON (AP/KDKA) — Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri have objected to the counting of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, triggering up to two hours of debate in the House and Senate.
Senators voted 92-7 after midnight to derail the GOP attempt to overturn Pennsylvania’s support for the Democrat. The Senate rejected the effort to cancel Pennsylvania’s votes without any debate.
The objections come 11 hours after the congressional count to confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory began, and after lawmakers had to evacuate both chambers for several hours to escape a mob that had violently breached the Capitol.
Hawley said last week that he would object to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, saying Congress should investigate voter fraud. President Donald Trump has falsely said since his defeat that there was widespread fraud in the election.
Biden won Pennsylvania by just over 80,000 votes. Since the Nov. 3 election, Trump and his allies filed at least a half-dozen lawsuits challenging Biden’s win on various grounds, including that many or all of the state’s mail-in ballots were illegal.
The lawsuits failed as judge after judge found no violation of state law or constitutional rights, or no grounds to grant an immediate halt to certifying the election.
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Pennsylvania Democratic Senator Bob Casey defended the state’s votes.
“I rise tonight to defend the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to defend the more than 6.9 million voters who voted in this election and to condemn in the strongest possible terms this attempt to disenfranchise the voters of Pennsylvania based upon on a lie,” Casey said on the floor.
Casey went on to say that Pennsylvania’s mail-in voting law was passed by a Republican-controlled Legislature.
Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey also refuted claims of fraud in Pennsylvania.
“We witnessed today the damage that can result when men in power and responsibility refuse to acknowledge the truth,” Toomey said while speaking to the Senate. “We saw bloodshed because a demagogue chose to spread falsehoods and sow distrust of his own fellow Americans.”
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf called Hawley’s actions “shameful” in a tweet.
“Even after his actions directly resulted in a violent riot, Sen. Josh Hawley continues to lie about the election,” Wolf said on social media. “Pennsylvania had a free, fair, and secure election. That’s a fact. Sen. Hawley’s behavior is disgraceful.”
Shameful. Even after his actions directly resulted in a violent riot, Sen. Josh Hawley continues to lie about the election.
Pennsylvania had a free, fair, and secure election. That's a fact.
Sen. Hawley's behavior is disgraceful.
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) January 7, 2021
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