The episode reflects a failed 2013 drive by some Republicans to defeat Obamacare, but with more pressing implications for future elections and confidence in democracy. At the time, a small group of Conservatives called on the party to do everything possible to end funding the Health Bill. Efforts soon intensified, resulting in a government shutdown and a back bite for the Republicans – and helped bring Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to the fore. Similarly, support among Trump loyalists is growing rapidly this time around for protesting Biden’s victory.
Still, the refusers will not be able to prevent Biden’s victory, as only a slim majority in the Senate is required to meet the challenges of the elections. But Cruz and Hawley are unbowed, and have both tried to fund the push for the past few days, as they position themselves firmly in the party’s pro-Trump wing, even as the president ponders whether to run again in 2024.
“I intend to vote on January 6th to reject DISPUTE STATE VOTERS unless a 10-day emergency review is completed. Our electoral integrity must not be compromised! “Cruz said that Weekend.
Although senators such as Toomey, Sasse, Mitt Romney from Utah, Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and Susan Collins from Maine had criticized the electoral challenges of their colleagues, many in the GOP were concerned not to foment the inner-party divide more publicly than before. Some insisted that the party would reunite after the feud.
Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Who is up for re-election in 2022, saw no path to success in Hawley’s and Cruz’s plans: “Neither of the two proposals that have been put forward will lead to an outcome. I don’t think this will have much of a long-term impact on our conference. “
“This is an unfortunate trip,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va) of the objections to the election. Meanwhile, Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) said he was “very doubtful”.
But privately, Republicans said that many in the GOP are trying to document the conflict ahead of the Georgia runoff on Jan. 5, when Republicans need huge voter margins to counter what appears to be a strong early Democratic election. Inside the party, the bitterness is very real.
“It’s a fight we don’t need before a very significant runoff. All of this should have waited until the polls close after the runoff,” said a Republican senator, who is keeping his objections secret for the time being. “There’s a lot of pressure to support the President in one way or another. But … we are all sworn to uphold the constitution, not the presidency. “
The president took his printing campaign to a new level on Saturday when he called Georgian Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger and pushed he is supposed to “find” the votes in order to reverse the election results of the state.
When the senators were sworn in for their new six-year term, some defended their decision to question Biden’s victory. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) Insisted it was about “getting the facts”, not loyalty to Trump; Lankford is up for re-election in 2022.
“None of us want to vote against the voters, but we all want to get the facts out there,” Lankford said. “If we can get to a commission that we understand is highly unlikely, we don’t have to vote against the voters.”
“The people of Kansas feel disenfranchised. They want us to follow up on the irregularities they discovered in this election, and this is one way of doing it,” added Senator Roger Marshall, R-Kan. “I feel that our constitution has been violated.”
Sasse and Romney have accused the offending senators of making a short-term political calculation to align with Trump’s voters. Collins simply said, “It’s important that we all start to see reality.”
The long-term effort has also resulted in some notable divisions in the GOP of the House, though Republicans there are more receptive to Trump’s desire to stay in power. House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney distributed a memo to her colleagues arguing that contesting the election results was unconstitutional and could set an “exceptionally dangerous precedent”.
And former spokesman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Said, “It’s difficult to imagine a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act.” Kevin McCarthy, a leading ally of Trump, has made no attempt to destroy the ground, according to several Republican lawmakers and aides.
Now a group of seven House Republicans – including Conservative Freedom Caucus members like Ken Buck (Colorado) and Chip Roy (Texas), as well as MEP Nancy Mace (SC) and Libertarian MP Thomas Massie (R-Ky).) – make a long statement on Sunday afternoon against the objection efforts and come to the conclusion: “We have to respect the authority of the states here.”
Opponents of the effort to block Biden’s certification said they believed only a handful of additional Senate Republicans would likely be among the 12 now on the record. But they also admitted that there are still a few days to build up pressure from pro-Trump voters.
Senator Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) Said, given Trump’s popularity in his state, “The easiest political vote for me would be to protest anything and vote for any objection.”
“It would be easy to do. But that’s a big decision, ”said Cramer, who is undecided. “The people at home, for the most part, feel that this election has been robbed. And we won’t do anything that could change the outcome. “
Melanie Zanona contributed to this report.