McConnell’s Rules for Jan. 6

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by Paul Murano  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  January 5, 2021   

Playbook for joint session

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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - By a simple voice vote in both chambers of Congress, new rules have been adopted to guide the legislative branch in what may be the most consequential joint session of Congress in the nation's history.

On Sunday, Congress adopted new regulations affecting the upcoming Jan. 6 joint session of the 117th U.S. House and Senate. Introduced by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the guidance directs the counting of Electoral College votes for president.

The resolution begins by declaring where and when this historical meeting will take place:

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring) ... the two Houses of Congress shall meet in the Hall of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the 6th day of January 2021, at 1 o'clock post meridian [sic], pursuant to the requirements of the Constitution and laws relating to the election of president and vice president of the United States.

This joint session occurs every four years in the January following a presidential election. The resolution continues, explaining the role of the vice president, who is also president of the Senate:

And the president of the Senate shall be their presiding officer; that two tellers shall be previously appointed by the president of the Senate on the part of the Senate and two by the speaker on the part of the House of Representatives, to whom shall be handed, as they are opened by the president of the Senate, all the certificates and papers purporting to be certificates of the electoral votes.

This indicates that two senators and representatives will be appointed to receive and hand over to Vice President Pence the certified electoral results from each state. It is Pence's duty to then open these certificates and papers in alphabetical order by state, beginning with Alabama and ending with Wyoming.

Fox News is reporting more than a hundred House GOP lawmakers are expected to object to at least one state's slate of electors.

This is when congressmen and senators can object to certifications in states they believe were compromised by widespread voter fraud.


 

There are currently 53 representatives and 13 senators who have pledged to object to certification in certain swing states. And that list is growing. Fox News is reporting more than a hundred House GOP lawmakers are expected to object to at least one state's slate of electors.

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Sen. Hawley, Rep. Stefanik and Sen. Lankford

This process could take hours. For every state that has at least one senator and one representative who object, there will be a debate in each chamber that could last two hours. At the end of the debate, they vote. A challenge to the delegates would be upheld only if a majority vote from both the House and the Senate prevails.

The 11 senators over the weekend who pledged to join Sen. Josh Hawley have warned they will voice objections on Wednesday unless Congress appoints a commission to examine all alleged election irregularities.

U.S. congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York told Fox News Monday that she takes seriously her responsibility of objecting to electors.

"I do not take this action lightly. I am acting to protect our democratic process," Stefanik said. "Article II and the Twelfth Amendment of the Constitution make clear that I have an obligation to act on this matter if I believe there are serious questions with respect to the presidential election."

Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma said Saturday that all irregularities must be looked at to satisfy justice:

They're gathering all the information and they're challenging every single thing that's out there. I mean, everything from Sharpies on ballots in Arizona to suitcases of ballots under tables in Georgia to laws that were changed to individuals that were dead or that moved or from out of state that voted.

All those things demand us. ... Some are rumor, some are fact. But those are facts we have to be able to resolve and determine if this election is settled.

The resolution concludes with Senate President Pence accepting and declaring the president and vice president of the United States, who will then be sworn in on Inauguration Day:

The votes having been ascertained and counted in the manner and according to the rules by law provided, the result of the same shall be delivered to the president of the Senate, who shall thereupon announce the state of the vote, which announcement shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons, if any, elected president and vice president of the United States, and together with a list of the votes, be entered on the journals of the two Houses.

How this joint session will actually flow is anyone's guess. What seems certain, however, is it will be a day marked in history as very consequential to the future direction of the U.S. Republic. As President Trump said last week, Jan. 6 promises to be a "wild" day in the nation's capital.

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