The 2020 election drama delivered a new twist on Wednesday morning after Republican Senator Josh Hawley, of Missouri, declared that he will object when Congress counts the Electoral College votes next week, which will force lawmakers in both the House and Senate to vote on whether to accept the results of President-elect Joe Biden’s election win.
Hawley’s objection will also put many of his Senate Republican colleagues in a difficult political position, forcing them to vote on whether to side with Trump or with the popular will of the voters.
As noted by The Washington Post, Hawley is the first senator to announce plans to object to the election results, which is significant because both a House member and senator are required to mount an objection when Congress meets to certify the electoral college results.
If an objection is raised from one lawmaker in both the House and Senate during the joint session of Congress, the two chambers separate and debate the matter for two hours, before voting with whether to sustain the objection.
Rep. Mo Brooks, the Alabama Republican spearheading the effort to object in the House, said earlier this month Republicans were considering objecting to six states that Biden won, meaning as much as 12 hours of debate that would turn the process into a political circus and could spill into a second day of debate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has privately urged Senate Republicans not to join the group of House members who are planning to object. Senate Majority Whip John Thune argued against it publicly, prompting a rebuke from Trump on Twitter and the threat of a primary challenge.
Congress is set to count the Electoral College votes on January 6.