Acknowledging that their effort to keep President-elect Joe Biden from assuming office is unlikely to succeed, 11 Republican senators committed anyway Saturday to voting to reject Electoral College votes on Wednesday. The group said in a joint statement that a commission should be appointed by Congresss "to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states," the Hill reports. Once the states have the findings, their legislatures could hold a special session to consider changing their electoral votes. "Accordingly, we intend to vote on Jan. 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not 'regularly given' and 'lawfully certified'" until the audit is in. The statement was signed by Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Steve Daines of Montana, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Mike Braun of Indiana. Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama also were listed.
This is what Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was hoping to avoid, per Axios. Republicans facing reelection in two years now will have to go on record as opposing President Trump's wishes to fight Biden's victory or as endorsing the battle cry of election fraud. Many of them already have rejected that notion. "We are not naïve," the statement issued Saturday said. "We fully expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise." Individual Republicans have said as much. "In the end, I don’t think it changes anything," Sen. John Thune said. Sen. Ben Sasse said it's a stunt to help presidential hopefuls win over Trump's supporters. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri was the first senator to say he'd object; the 11 senators plan to cite more specific grounds for their votes. The announcement of the state-by-state election results will be made in a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. (Sen. Josh Hawley said he'll cite the roles of Facebook and Twitter in the campaign.)