“I think it’s horrible. I will support my constitutional oath. This is the loyalty test here,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) described Hawley’s move as “disappointing and destructive”. And borrowing from Ben Sasse is his ambition to point a weapon at the forefront of democracy. Sasse (R-Neb.) Said this week that “adults do not point a loaded gun at the heart of legitimate self-government”.
“I will vote to confirm the election,” Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) Said of Hawley’s efforts. “I don’t think it’s a good idea and I don’t understand his reasoning.”
It has already become clear that in the face of public opposition from these Senators and others like Sens. Shelly Moore Capito (RW.Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Richard Burr (RN.C.) who said flatly will fail “No” Friday when asked if he would come to Hawley. A simple majority is enough to confirm Biden’s victory, and there are 48 Senate Democrats.
However, the January 6 vote to confirm Biden’s victory is viewed in the GOP as a painful litmus test. Republicans risk either a setback or a primary challenge by approving Biden’s victory amid Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud, or they can join Trump’s attempt to undermine the election results.
Trump has already shown little consideration for those who criticize efforts in the House and Senate to block Biden’s victory. The President attacked John Thune (R-S.D.), The Senate majority whip, for the second time this week after Thune said Trump’s efforts to overthrow Biden’s victory will go down like a “gun dog” in the upper chamber.
The president called on Governor Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) To run against Thune, even though Noem has already said she will not run against Thune. Trump in a tweet called Thune a “RINO” on Friday – a Republican only in the name.
“Finally an attack tweet. What did it cost him so long? “Thune, the No. 2 Republican, said about Trump. He said it was No effort to fix things: “I’m not sure what I did to deserve all of this. That’s good. I’m not sure anything will change his mind once he’s made it up.”
Hawley is unlikely to stand alone like Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) In 2005 when she was outvoted 74-1 by members of both parties after objecting to George W. Bush’s Ohio vote. Privately, Senate Republicans estimate that a handful of Republican senators could vote against certification of at least one state besides Hawley, a smaller percentage than the 100-plus Republicans in the House who are expected to try to stop Biden’s victory.
“I’m not going to tell other people what to do,” said Hawley, who said he had contact with other senators following his announcement. “I don’t have the power to knock something over. My goal is, as I have said repeatedly, this is my only opportunity in this process to stand and be heard. “
Hawley said he had not made a decision whether to challenge just a single state or enough states to change the electoral college’s outcome. He specifically mentioned Pennsylvania earlier this week as an example of a state that “has not obeyed its own state choice laws.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Warned not to contest the election privately and urged Hawley on a conference call Thursday for an explanation, despite Hawley not being present. Hawley responded by asking Senators questions to reach him. Capito said Hawley’s move was “certainly not what the leader would want because he made it very clear”.
But the Republicans are not whipping Trump. Thune said the GOP leadership let members “choose their conscience”. He said that if there was some unforeseen evidence, he said that if there was some unforeseen evidence, he would oppose the effort as Congress has no legal power to change the election results approved by the states and confirmed by election reporting.
“It seems to me that this is an exercise in futility,” said Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), who said he would offer a longer statement next week if Trump’s efforts are halted by Congress. “There are probably 70 million people who would rather see Trump elected. I think it might not be very popular [in the GOP]. But sometimes you have to do unpopular things because it’s the right thing to do. “
Still, not all of them reject the challenge of Biden certification. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) Said he supported Hawley’s efforts earlier this week.
And Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) And Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) Both said they were still weighing their options. Blackburn argued that “people are quite concerned about electoral fraud and transparency” and Braun said he “is still thinking about what to do”.
“It’s just a protest vote. Because in my opinion there is no chance that anything will come of it. The house is not going to topple over and I don’t think you will ever get anywhere in the Senate,” argued Braun.
And several other senators said Friday they didn’t want to talk about it. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Who opposes contesting the election, said he would address the issue “pretty thoroughly next week”. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) Said he would not discuss the issue until Jan. 6 and Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) declined to comment.
“Ask me this January 6th. There’s a lot to think about,” said Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the senior GOP senator.