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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  January 6, 2021 8:06pm-11:40pm EST

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great dishonor and shame for our nation, berman reported that kamala harris is at the capital heading for the floor per staff, we are waiting for the senate to reconvene we were told it would happen 8:00 p.m. eastern time six minutes past the hour on the east coast. it is also expected to reconvene tonight you can watch it on c-span in the debate in the senate over on c-span2, when they go into a joint session which we expect them to do you can watch that right here on c-span. byron in minnesota, go ahead. >> thank you so much. >> i'm going to jump in, if you are watching c-span2 you can watch it right here providing over the senate. ork continues.
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we condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms. we grieve the loss of life in these hallowed halls, as well as the injuries suffered by those who defended our capitol today. and we will always be grateful to the men and women who stayed at their posts to defend this historic place. to those who wreaked havoc in our capitol today, you did not win. violence never wins. freedom wins. and this is still the people's
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house. and as we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy, for even in the wake of unprecedented violence and vandalism at this capitol, the elected representatives of the people of the united states have assembled again on the very same day to support and defend the constitution of the united states. so may god bless the lost, the injured, and the heroes forged on this day. may god bless all who serve here and those who protect this place. and may god bless the united states of america. let's get back to work.
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the vice president: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the majority leader and the democratic leader be allowed to speak and that the time not count against the two hours of debate in relation to the objection raised on the state of arizona. the vice president: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. mcconnell: i want to say to the american people the united states senate will not be intimidated. we will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs, or threats.
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we will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation. we are back at our posts. we will discharge our duty under the constitution and for our nation. and we're going to do it tonight. this afternoon, congress began the process of honoring the will of the american people and counting the electoral college votes. we have fulfilled the solemn duty every four years for more than two centuries. whether our nation has been at war or at peace, under all manner of threats, even during an ongoing armed rebellion and the civil war, the clock work of our democracy has carried on. the united states and the united states congress have faced down much greater threats than the
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unhinged crowd we saw today. we've never been deterred before, and we will be not deterred today. they tried to disrupt our democracy. they failed. they failed. they failed to attempt to obstruct the congress. this failed insurrection only underscores how crucial the task before us is for our republic. our nation was founded precisely so that the free choice of the american people is what shapes our self-government and determines the destiny of our nation. not fear, not force, but the peaceful expression of the popular will. now, we assembled this afternoon to count our citizens' votes and
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to formalize their choice of the next president. now we're going to finish exactly what we started. we'll complete the process the right way by the book. we'll follow our precedents, our laws, and our constitution to the letter. and we will certify the winner of the 2020 presidential election. criminal behavior will never dominate the united states congress. this institution is resilient. our democratic republic is strong. the american people deserve nothing less.
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the vice president: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: mr. president. mr. president, it is very, very difficult to put into words what has transpired today. i have never lived through or even imagined an experience like the one we have just witnessed in this capitol. president franklin roosevelt set aside december 7, 1941, as a day that will live in infamy. unfortunately, we can now add january 6, 2021, to that very short list of dates in american history that will live forever in infamy. this temple to democracy was desecrated. its windows smashed. our offices vandalized. the world saw americans' elected officials hurriedly ushered out because they were in harm's way.
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the house and senate floors were places of shelter until the evacuation was ordered, leaving rioters to stalk these hallowed halls. lawmakers and our staffs, average citizens who love their country, serve it every day, feared for their lives. i understand that one woman was shot and tragically lost her life. we mourn her and feel for her friends and family. these images were projected to the world. foreign embassies cabled their home capitals to report the harrowing scenes at the very heart of our democracy. this will be a stain on our country not so easily washed away. the final terrible, indelible legacy of the 45th president of the united states,
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undoubtedly our worst. i want to be very clear. those who performed these reprehensible acts cannot be called protesters. no, these were rioters and insurrectionists, goons and thugs, domestic terrorists. they do not represent america. they were a few thousand violent extremists who tried to take over the capitol building and attack our democracy. they must and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, hopefully by this administration, if not certainly by the next. they should be provided no leniency. i want to thank the many of the capitol hill police and secret service and local police who kept us safe today and worked to clear the capitol and return it to its rightful owners and its
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rightful purpose. i want to thank the leaders, democrat and republican, house and senate. it was speaker pelosi, leader mcconnell, leader mccorrespondent think and myself who came doth together and decided that these thugs would not succeed. that we would finish the work that our constitution requires us to complete. in the very legislative chambers of the house and senate that were desecrated, but we know always belong to the people and do again tonight. but make no mistake, make no mistake, my friends, today's events did not happen spantainiously. the president, who promoted conspiracy theories that motivated these thugs, the president, who exhorted them to come to our nation's capital, egged them on, he hardly ever discourages violence and more
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often encourages it, this president bears a great deal of the blame. this mob was in good part president trump's doing, incited by his words, his lies. this violence in good part his responsibility, his ever-lasting shame. today's events certainly -- certainly -- would not have happened without him. now, january 6 will go down as one of the darkest days in recent american. a final warning to our nation about the consequences of a demagogic president. the president who enable him, the captive media that parrots his lies and the people who follow him as he attempts to push america to the brink of
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ruin. as we reconvene tonight, let us remember, in the end, all this mob has really accomplished is to delay our work by a few hours. we will resume our responsibilities now, and we will finish our task tonight. the house and senate chambers will be restored good as new and ready for legislating in short order. the counting of the electoral votes is our sacred duty. democracy's roots are deep and strong and they will not be undone ever by a group of thugs. democracy will triumph, as it has for centuries. so to my fellow americans who shocked and appalled by the images on their televisions today and who are worried about the future of this country, let me speak to you directly. the divisions in our country
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clearly run deep, but we are a resilient, forward-looking and optimistic people, and we will begin the hard work of repairing this nation tonight because here in america we do hard things. in america, we always overcome our challenges. i yield the floor. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i yield two minutes to the senator from oklahoma, senator lankford. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. lankford: mr. vice president, you said things more eloquently than we say them in oklahoma. in oklahoma we'd say something like, why in god's name would someone think attacking law enforcement and occupying the united states capitol is the best way to show that you you're right? why would you do that?
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rioters and thugs don't run the capital. we're the united states of america. we disagree on a lot of things and we have a lot of spirited debate in this room, but we talk it out and we honor each other. even in our disagreement. that person, that person, that person is not my enemy. that's my fellow american. and while we disagree on things and disagree strongly at times, we do not encourage what happened today ever. i want to join my fellow senators in saying thank you to the capitol hill police, the law enforcement, the national guard, the secret service who stood in harm's way while we were here debating. they were pushing back. and i was literally interrupted midsentence speaking here because we were all unaware of what was happening right outside this room.
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because of their faithfulness and because of what they have done. i want to thank him. ronald reagan once said, peace is not the absence of conflict. it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means. peaceful people in my state and oklahoma want their questions answered but they don't want this, what happened today. they want to do the right thing, and they also want to do it the right way. they want to honor the constitutional process but they also want to have debate about election security because they want to make sure it is right. which is why it is an important issue that still needs to be resolved. transparency in government just doesn't seem like a bad idea. obviously the commission that we have asked for is not going to happen at this point. and i understand that. and we're headed towards tonight -- towards the certification of
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joe biden to be the president of the united states. and we will work together in this body to be able to set a peaceful example of the days ahead. i yield the floor. the presidingthe vice presidente democratic leader. mr. schumer: the senator from nevada, senator cortez masto. the vice president: the senator from nevada. ms. cortez masto: i know that many believe that for america to succeed, our politics must find common ground. and that has never been clearer than today when armed rioters stormed the u.s. capitol, emboldened by president trump's false and inflammatory rhetoric about the 2020 elections. i believe that we in this chamber have a special duty as
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leaders to work together to lower the temperature of our politics. and i hope that my colleagues who have questioned the legitimacy of this election in arizona and all of these other states now see the dire and dangerous consequences of sewing doubt and uncertainty. -- of sowing doubt and uncertainty. i also know that is u.s. senators we also take the oath that we support the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. at this moment in history i can think of nothing more patriotic than renewing our faith in the charters of freedom that our founding fathers crafted for our republic, starting with the fundamental american principle in our declaration of independence that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.
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the people have spoken in this election and our only job here today is to do what they asked. it is not to argue election security. that's not the place for what we are doing today. our constitution specifically reserves to the people the right to meet in the respective states and vote for the president and vice president. as a result, individual states oversee and implement the election process, not the federal government. to guard against fraud or irregularities in the voting process, the states are required to have robust election security measures. likewise, state legislatures have the opportunity to examine evidence of voter fraud before they certify their electoral college votes. and our courts, from district courts to the united states supreme court, adjudicate legal challenges and election disputes. all of those things happened after the 2020 election.
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statehouses and courts across the country took allegations of voter fraud seriously and followed the constitutional process to hear challenges to this year's elections. no state found evidence of any widespread voter fraud, and neither did any court asked to review the states' findings. in arizona, republican governor doug ducey, democratic secretary of state katie hobbs, republican attorney general mark bernavich and state supreme court justice robert rudenow all certify the results of the lengths on november 30. and we know we have heard arizonans have been voting by nail for almost 30 years and governor ducey as expressed confidence in the process many times. he said we do elections well here in arizona. the system is strong and that's why i have bragged on it so much. he further stated, we have some of the strongest election laws
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in the country. laws that prioritize accountability and clearly lay out our procedures for conducting, canvassing and even contesting the results. and they are right. arizona has one of the most transparent election processes in the country with built-in accountability starting with auditing. we have heard unfounded allegations that voting machines in arizona and elsewhere somehow changed vote tallies or somehow improperly rejected ballots while claiming to accept them. these allegations all ignore the fact that arizona counties conducted ballot audits by hand to double-check the machine counts and these audits found no widespread fraud or irregularities. maricopa county, the county where more than 60% of the state population resides, conducted a post election handcount audit in
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the week after the election, which showed perfect 100% accuracy in the machine tabulations. so why would we need, my colleagues, to call fora 10-day message audit to be conducted by a legislative commission when it's already been done by the state of arizona? what happened to states' rights? the audit involved checking ballots for the president denying election but also ballots for federal and state legislative elections. the audit report shows every precinct's machine and hand-count he totals for each of the races audited and the for every one, the difference between the hand count and the machine count was zero. maricopa's audit report stated, no discrepancies were found by the hand-count audit boards. seeking to find any reasoning to contest these results, some of the state republicans then tried to claim that maricopa county
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failed to follow state law in conducting the audit by selecting voting center locations to audit instead of voting precincts. this was wrong. and this, too, went to a court. and rejecting this claim, the state court in arizona found that the county followed the properly issued guidance on hand-audit procedures from the arizona secretary of state. and the court found that maricopa county officials therefore could not lawfully have performed the hand-count audit the way the plaintiffs wanted it done. if they had done so, they would have exposed themselves to criminal punishment. the vice president: the senator's five minutes violence expired. ms. cortez mass mosquito:i would say, please do not disenfranchise the voters of arizona. certify their votes tonight. thank you. the vice president: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i yield up to five minutes to
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the senator from utah, senator lee. the vice president: the senator from utah. mr. lee: mr. president, at the time i prepared my remarks for today, it seems like a lifetime ago, a lot has changed in the last few hours and so i'm going to deliver some of the same remarks but it has a little bit of a different feel than it would have just a few hours ago. my thoughts and prayers go out to the family members of those who have been injured or killed today. my heartfelt gratitude goes out to the capitol hill police who valiantly defended our building and our lives. while it's true that legitimate concerns have been raised with regard to how some of the key battleground states conducted their presidential elections, this is not the end of the story. we each have to remember that we've sworn an oath to uphold,
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protect, and defend this document, written nearly two and a half centuries ago by wise men raised up by god to that very purpose. that document makes clear what our role is and what it isn't. it makes clear who does what when it comes to deciding presidential elections. you see, because in our system of government, presidents are not directly elected, they are chosen by presidential electors and the constitution makes clear under article 2, section 1, that the states shall appoint presidential electors according to procedures that their legislatures develop. then comes the 12th amendment, it explains what we're doing here today in the capitol, that the president of the senate, the vice president of the united states shall open the ballots and the ballots shall be counted. it are those words that contain
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every scrap of authority we have in this process. our job is to open and then count, open, then count. that's it. that's all there is. now, there are, of course, rare instances, instances in which multiple slates of electors can be submitted by the same state. that doesn't happen very often. it happened in 1960, it happened in 1876. let's hope it doesn't ever happen again. in those rare moments, congress has to make a choice, it has to decide which electoral votes have to be counted and which did not. that did not happen here, thank heavens and let's hope that it never does. now, many of my colleagues have raised objections or had previously stated their intent to raise objections with regard to these. i spent an enormous time on this issue over the last few weeks. i met with lawyers on both sides
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of the issue. i met with lawyers representing the trump campaign, reading everything i could find about the constitutional provisions in question, and i spent a lot of time on the phone with legislators and other leaders from the contested states. i didn't initially declare my position because i didn't yet have one. i wanted to get the facts first and i wanted to understand what was happening. i wanted to give the people serving in government in the contested states the opportunity to do whatever they felt they needed to do to make sure that their election was properly reflected. i spent an enormous amount of time reaching out to state government officials in those states, but in none of the contested states, no, not even one, did i discover any indication that there was any chance that any state legislature or secretary of state or governor or lieutenant
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governor had any intention to alter the slate of electors. that being the case, our job is a very simple one. this simply isn't how our federal system is supposed to work. that is to say, if you have concerns with the way that an election in the presidential race was handled in your state, the appropriate response is to approach your state legislators, first and foremost, these protests from -- hearing from those who have raised concerns, they should have been focused on their state clils, not our -- captain yols, not our nation's capitol. yes, we are the election judges when it comes to members elected to our own body. yes, the house of representatives, they are the judges of their own races there. we also have the authority to prescribe as a congress rules governorring the time, place,
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and manner of elections for senators and representatives. there is no corresponding authority with respect to presidential elections, none whatsoever. it doesn't exist. our job is to convene, to open the ballots and to count them, that's it. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the vice president: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: the senator from colorado, mr. bennet. the vice president: the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: thank you, mr. vice president. colleagues, it has been a terrible day for everybody here and for our country. one of the things i was thinking about today is something i often think about when i'm on this floor and that is the founders of this country, the people that wrote our constitution actually knew our history better than we know our history. and i was thinking about that history today as we saw the mob
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riot in washington, d.c., thinking about what the founders were thinking about when they wrote our constitution, which is what happened to the roman republic when armed gangs doing the work for politicians prevented rome from casting their ballots for consult, for senators, these were the offices in rome and these armed gangs ran through the streets of rome keeping elections from being started, keeping elections from ever being called, and in the end, because of that, the roman republic fell and a dictator took its place. and that was the end of the roman republic or any republic for that matter until this beautiful constitution was written in the united states of america. so it is my fervent hope is that
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the way we respond to this today, my dear colleagues, is that we give the biggest bipartisan vote we can in support of our democracy and in support of our constitution and in rejection for what we saw today and what the roman republic saw in its own time. there's a tendency around this place, i think, to always believe that we're the first people to confront something when that's seldom the case and to underappreciate what the effect of our actions will be. we need to deeply appreciate in this moment our obligation to the constitution, our obligation to the democracy, our obligation to the republic. there are people in this chamber that have twisted the words, twisted the words of a statute written in the 19th century that was meant to actually
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settle our electoral dispute, to leave them with the states, as the senator from utah was saying, to give us ministerial role, accept in -- except in very rare circumstances, that is what that law is about that the senator from texas was talking about today. and that's the law that's leading us to be asked to overturn the judgments of 60 courts in america, many of them courts in arizona, some of whom have -- have howled the president's lawyers out of the courtroom because there's no evidence of fraud. by the way, the fact that 37% or 39% of americans think there's evidence of fraud does not mean there is fraud. if you turned a blind eye to a conspiracy theory, you can't now
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come to the floor of the senate and say, you're ignoring the people who believe the -- the election was stolen. go out there and tell them the truth which is that every single member of this senate knows this election wasn't stolen and that we, just as in the roman republic, have a responsibility to protect the independence of the judiciary from politicians who will stop at nothing to hold on to power. there's nothing new about that either. that's been true since the first republic was founded. so now we find ourselves in a position just days after many senators here swore an oath to uphold and defend the constitution, every single member of the house of representatives swore the same oath as well. and i think we've got a solemn
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obligation and responsibility here to prove once again that this country is a nation of laws and not of men and the only result that we can reach together is one that rejects the claim of the senator from texas and the other members of the house and senate who seek to overturn the decisions that were made by the states, by the voters in the states, and by the courts. if we follow what they have proposed, we will be thes ones -- the ones that will have disenfranchised every single person who cast a vote in this election, whether they voted for the president or they didn't. i urge you to reject this and i deeply appreciate the opportunity to serve with every single one of you. thank you, mr. president.
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the vice president: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i yield up to five minutes to the senator from electoral -- the senator from georgia. the presiding officer: the -- the vice president: the senator from georgia. mrs. loeffler: mr. president, when i arrived in washington this morning, i fully intended to object to the certification of the electoral votes, however the events that transpired have forced me to reconsider and i cannot now in good conscience object to the certification of these electors. the violence, the lawlessness and siege of the halls of congress are abhorrent and stand as a direct attack on what my objection was intended to protect, the sanctity of the american democratic process. i thank law enforcement for keeping us safe. i believe that there were last-minute changes to the november 2020 election process and serious irregularities that
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resulted in too many americans losing confidence not only in the integrity of our elections but in the power of the ballot as a tool of democracy, too many americans are frustrated with what they see as an unfair system, nevertheless there is no excuse for the events that took place in these chambers today and i pray that america never suffers such a dark day again. though the fate of this vote is clear, the future of the american people's faith and the core institution of this democracy remains uncertain. we, as a body, must turn our focus to protecting the integrity of our elections and restoring every american's faith that their voice and their vote matters. america's a divided country with serious differences but it is still the greatest country on earth. there can be no disagreement that upholding democracy is the only path to preserving our republic. i yield the floor.
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the vice president: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: i yield two and a half minutes to senator booker and two and a half minutes to senator kaine. in reverse order. mr. kaine: mr. president -- the presiding officer: the -- the vice president: the senator from virginia. mr. kaine: i applaud the comments of the senator from georgia deeply. my first job after school was in macon, georgia working for federal judge anderson, and i learned -- a lot about integrity and law from him. i also learned some sad lessons that in the history of georgia and indeed in virginia and many states, so many people, especially people of color had been disenfranchised over the course of our history. our late friend, john lewis, congressman from georgia, was
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savagely beaten on bloody sunday just for marching for voting rights. that act of violence inspired this body, the u.s. senate, to come together in march of 1965, and work to pass in a bipartisan fashion the voting rights act. we should be coming together today after acts of violence as a united states senate to affirm the votes of all who cast ballots in november. instead, we're contemplating an unprecedented objection that would be a massive disenfranchisement of american voters. the georgia result was very clear, a 12,000 vote margin, two certifications by republican officials, four separate recounts and canvass, seven lawsuits, as in the other states. if we object to results like
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this, the message is so clear, we are saying to states, no matter how secure and accurate your elections are, we'll gladly overthrow them if we don't like who you voted for. but for importantly what we'll be saying -- really what we'll be doing is as the body that acted together to guarantee americans the right to vote, we will become the agent of one of the most massive disenfranchise ypts in the history of -- in the history of this country. so i urge all of my colleagues, please oppose these objections. thank you, and i yield to my colleague from new jersey. the vice president: the senator from new jersey. booker booker mr. president -- mr. booker: mr. vice president,
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i can only think of two times in american history that individuals laid siege to our capitol and tried to upend and overrun this government. one was in the war of 1812. and the other one was today. what's interesting about the parallel between the two is they both were waving flags to a sole sovereign, to an individual, surrendering democratic principle to the cultic personality. one was a monarch in england and the other with the flags i saw all over the capitol, including in the hallways and in this room, to a single person named donald trump. the sad difference between these two times was one the history in
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our country that tried to challenge the united states of america. but this time we brought this hell upon ourselves. my colleague from texas said that this was a moment where there were unprecedented allegations of voter fraud. yes, that is true. there were unprecedented when the president before the election said if i lose this election, then the election was rigged. that's unprecedented. it's unprecedented before the night -- the counting of the vote was even done that he called it rigged. and it's unprecedented that he's fang the flames of conspiracy theory to create a smoke screen in this nation, to cover what he is trying to do, which is undermine our democratic principles. but it's not just that. the shame of this day is it's
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being aided and abetted by good americans who are falling prey, who are choosing trump over truth, who are surrendering to the passion of lies as opposed to standing up and speaking truth to power, who are trying to fund raise off of the shame of conspiracy theories as opposed to doing the incal incalculably thing of value which is to speak truth to our nation. our democracy is wounded and i saw it when i saw pictures of another insurgency, a flag of another group of americans who tried to challenge our nation. i saw the flag of the confederacy there. what will we do? how will we confront this shame?
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how will we confront this dark second time in american history? i pray that we remember a georgian and his words. all i can say is we must in spirit join together like those georgians on a bridge called the edmund pettus who joined hands, who were called threats to our democracy, who were called outrageous epithets when they sought to expand our democracy, to save it, to heal it, when they joined arm and arm and they said what we should say now, commit ourselves to that ideal, that together we shall overcome. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i yield up to five minutes to the senator from nebraska, the senator from sasse. the vice president: the senator from nebraska.
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mr. sasse: mr. president, thank you. mr. president, let me say thank you for the way you fulfilled your duties and obviously it hasn't been easy. colleagues, today has been ugly. when i came to the floor this morning, i planned to talk about the lesson of 1801, because i'm kind of a history nerd, and i wanted to celebrate the glories of the peaceful transition of power across our nation's history. it feels a little naive now to talk about ways american civics could unite us and bring us back together. 1801 blew everyone's mind over the world. john adams loses to thomas jefferson and adams willingly leaves the executive mansion and moves back to massachusetts and jefferson peacefully assumes power and people all over europe said that must be fake news, bad reports. there is no way anyone in the executive would lay out the power and adams in defeat did
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something glorious to give us a gift. i wanted to celebrate that and it feels a little harder now. this building has been desecrated. blood has been spilled in the hallways. i was with october -- octogenarian members of the senate who needed troops to help them get down the steps. it was ugly today. but you know what? it turns out that when something is ugly, talking about beauty isn't just permissible. talking about beauty is obligatory at a time like that. why? why would we talk about beauty after the ugliness of today? because our kids need to know that this isn't what america is. what happened today isn't what america is. they have been given a glorious inheritance as the 59th presidential election -- if the vice president wasn't in the
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chair, i would have made some vote that chuck grassley voted in two-thirds of those 59 presidential elections. he's laughing. it's not as good as hit deer, deer dead. i don't think we want to tell the americans who come after us that this american is broken, this is a banana republic, our institutions can't be trusted. we don't want that in this body and our hometowns. i don't think we want to tell our kids that america's best days are behind us because it's not true. that's not who we are. america isn't hatfields and mccoys, blood feuds forever. america is a lot, not anything so big that the american people can't rebuild it, that freedom and community and entrepreneurial effort and that neighborhoods can't rebuild. nothing that's broken is so big that we can't fix it. generations of our forefathers
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and our foremothers, our ancestors, have spilled blood to defend the glories of this republic. why would they do that? because america is the most exceptional nation in the history of the world and because the constitution is the greatest political document that's ever been written. most governments in the past have said might makes right, and we saw some of that today. might makes right. no, it doesn't. god gives us rights by nature and government is just our shared project to secure those rights. america has always been about what we choose to do together. the way we reaffirm our constitutional system. we've got some governmental tasks, and we all in this body could do better at those governmental tasks. but the heart of america is not government. the center of america is not washington, d.c. the center of america is the neighborhoods where 330 million americans are raising kids, trying to put food on the table
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and trying to love their neighbor. we're not supposed to be the most important people in america. we're supposed to be servant leaders to maintain a framework for liberty so there is a structure that back home where they live they can get from the silver frame to the golden frame which is the apple, the things they build together, the places where they coach little league, the places where they invite people to synagogue and church. sometimes the things we do together are governmental like kicking hitler's ass. but the heart of america is about places where moms and dads are raising kids and we're supposed to serve them by maintaining order and by rejecting violence. you can't do big things like that if you hate your neighbors. you can't do big things together as americans if you think other americans are the enemy. there's a lot of uncertainty about the future. i get it. there's a lot that does need to be rebuilt.
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but if you're angry, i want to beg you, don't let the screamers who monetize hate have the final word. don't let neilists become your drug dealers. there are some who want to burn it down but they're not going to win. instead organize, persuade. but most importantly, love your neighbor. visit the widower down the street who is lonely and doesn't want to tell anybody that his wife died and doesn't have a lot of friends. shovel somebody's driveway. you can't hate somebody who shoveled your driveway. we're supposed to be servant leaders. the constitutional system is the greatest order for any government ever and it's our job to steward it and be protect it. let's remember that today when we vote. the vice president: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: senator durbin.
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the vice president: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: thank you, mr. vice president. in march of 1861, a springfield lawyer caught a train to washington. his name was abraham lincoln. it wasn't his first trip here. he served as a congressman 15 years before and he returned in the beginning of the civil war to serve as president. it was a different place than he knew it as congressman and in 15 years changed a lot. the spritions boarding house across the street which is now the library of congress was gone, and this building was changing. big changes. they were building a dome on the capitol. but they were also in the earliest days of war -- and president lincoln was counsel, stop building the dome. it costs too much money and we can't spend any more time on it. and he said no we're going to build that dome and we're going to finish it. that dome and this building will
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be a symbol of this country that will survive the civil war and come back strong. so they built the dome. they won the war. and since those days, that dome and this building have been a symbol to this country, a symbol of unity and of hope. tourists come through here before covid-19 by the tens of thousands. and if you've ever noticed their tours, they're often shushed. people are saying show some respect for this building. we know this building in the rotunda as the place where some of the greatest american heroes of both political parties lie in state, and we go there to honor them. we know this building because we work here. we enact laws here that change america. we gather for state of the union messages from presidents and honor the people in the gallery.
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this is a special place. this is a sacred place. but this sacred place was desecrated by a mob today. on our watch. this temple to democracy was defiled by thugs who roamed the halls and sat in that chair, mr. have want, the one that youe one you vacated this afternoon, sat and posed for pictures, those who were roaming around this chamber. what brought this on? did this mob spring spontaneously from america? no. this mob was invited to come to washington on this day by this president for one reason -- because he knew the electoral college vote was going to be counted this day. he wanted this mob to disrupt the constitutional process which we are a part of. this mob was inspired by a
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president who cannot accept defeat. if you wonder whether i'm going too far in what i say, just read the transcript with the secretary of state from georgia and listen to the president's wild conspiracy theories one after the other, swatted down by that republican elected official and his attorney as having no basis in fact. this president begs. he coaxes, he even threatens that secretary of state to find the votes he needs. in any other venue that would be a simple obvious crimes. the lengths he'll go to are obvious. the texas senator says to us many people still agree with him, you know, when it gets down to the bottom line. many people have fallen for this presidential position, that it
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must have been a rigged election if i lost. well, i would say that after after -- we've lost count -- 57 lawsuits, 62 lawsuits, after 90 different judges, after this president took his case, the best he could put together, to the highest court in the land across the street where he has personally chosen three justices on the supreme court, i say to the senator from texas, you know much more about that court than i do. i don't believe that they let that paper that he sent up there even hit the desk before they laughed it out of the court. and that's the best he had to offer. no evidence whatsoever of this rigged election and this fraudulence. the senator from texas says we just want to create a little commission. ten days, we're going to audit all the states, particularly the ones in contention here, and find out what actually occurred. and it really draws, it's parallel to 1876, hayes and
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tilden. don't forget what that commission achieved. it was not some ordinary governmental commission. it was a commission that killed reconstruction, that established jim crow, that even after a civil war which tore this nation apart, it reenslaved african americans, and it was a commission that invited the voter suppression we are still fighting today in america. let me close by saying this. the vote we're going to have here is a clear choice of whether we are going to feed the beast of ignorance or we are going to tell the truth to the american people. we saw that beast today roaming the halls. let's not invite it back. the vice president: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i yield up to five minutes to the senator from kansas, senator marshall. the vice president: the senator
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from kansas. mr. marshall: thank you, mr. president. freedom of speech and freedom to protest are provided in our constitution and i share the same frustrations many americans have for the presidential election, the violence and mob rule that occurred at the u.s. capitol today and across the country the past year are unacceptable and i condemn it at the highest level. like all of us in the chamber, i'm thankful for the heroic officers who worked feverishly to restore order so we can get back to the certification process. during my 29-year career as an obstetrician and gynecologist, too often i had to sit down with patients and give them a very bad dying know cease. it might have been a very young mother of three who i delivered all three of her babies now with cancer or another with advanced cervical ovarian cancer all with a challenging prognosis but before i sat down with each one of those patients i carefully
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reviewed all their lab, their x-rays and pathology to make sure i had the facts straight but at the end of the day, my final recommendation was always going to be a recommendation from my heart. i want my fellow kansans and all americans to know that i've given as much consideration and thought surrounding the issue objecting to a state's electoral college vote as i did considering the treatment plan for a serious health concern and today's decision once again is from my heart. mr. president, i rise today to restore integrity to our republic and i rise to do it to join the many of my colleagues who are concerned for current and future generations. we must restore faith and confidence in one of our republic most hallowed patriotic duties, voting. there's no question our u.s. constitution empowers state legislatures to execute free, legal, and fair elections. unfortunately in several states, the clear authority of those state legislatures to determine the rules for voting were
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usurped by governors, secretaries of states and activist courts. our laws and constitution should always be followed, especially in a time of crisis. i don't rise undo a state's legally obtained electoral votes. i rise in hopes of improving the integrity of the ballot to hold states accountable to the time proven constitutional system of the electoral college. this is why i urge the formation of electoral commission to give constructive suggestions and recommendation the states can make to make our elections once again safe, free, and fair after a year of jarring irregularities. we must and will have a peaceful transition to power. to all my fellow americans, i have no doubt that our republic can go it -- grow stronger through this difficult day. my god bless this great republic. thank you, mr. president. i yield back. the vice president: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: the senator from
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illinois, senator duckworth. the vice president: the senator from illinois. ms. duckworth: in 2004 i packed up my rucksack, laced up my boots and deployed to iraq ready to sacrifice whatever was asked of me all because i loved this nation, willing to sacrifice my life if needed. because i believe in the sanctity of our electoral system which had declared george w. bush my commander in chief. i earned my wounds proudly fighting in a war i did not support on the orders of a president i did not vote for because i believed in and i still do believe in the values of our nation. because i believe in a government of, by, and for the people where voters, voters choose who leads them, not the other way around. i have spent my entire adult life defending our democracy but
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i never, never thought it would be necessary to defend it from an attempted violent, overthrow in our nation's own capital building. well, i refuse to let anyone intent on instigating chaos or inciting violence deter me from carrying out my constitutional duties. you know, when my army buddies and i raised our right hands, when the 45,000 troops in arizona raised their right hands, and swore to protect and defend the constitution, we did not qualify our oath by saying that we'd follow orders only when the commander in chief was someone whose election we were happy with. just like when every senator in this chamber was sworn into office, we didn't mutter under our breath that we discharge our duties only when it served our political interests or helped us to avoid the raght of a -- wrath, petty, tin pot dictator on the precipice of losing power
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and relevance. no, there's no ambiguity here. joe biden won the election with a record number of votes. republican officials nationwide confirmed those results, including in arizona as has judge after trump-appointed judge. even trump's attorney general admitted that the united states department of justice had not found widespread fraud that would have affected the outcome. yet still many of my republican colleagues are asking us to ignore all of that. with no evidence of their own, they're asking us to ignore court rulings, ignore republican election officials, and even worse, ignore the will of the people across this vast great nation. by trying to overturn this election, they are placing more trust in conspiracy theories over the constitution proving
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that appeasing trump is more important to them than protecting the most basic tenet of our republic, that add heernls to free and fair elections. there's one thing i know is that my troops didn't sign up to defend our democracy in war zones thousands of miles away only to watch it scrum balance in these -- crumble in these hallowed halls here at home. yet that is what this effort amounts to, an attempt to subvert our democracy and in the process it is threatening what makes america american. because in this country, in this country the power of the people has always mattered more than the people in power. that is the ideal that this nation was founded upon. that is why a few patriots through some tea in boston harbor, why washington crossed the delaware, when suffrages were arrested a century ago and my friend john lewis crossed
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that bridge in selma in 1965. it is why millions spent a tuesday in november standing in line braving a pandemic to make their voices heard. listen, this administration has always had an add remember say yal relationship with the friewt. trump always cries conspiracy, always foments chaos whenever something doesn't go his way. but today we here in this chamber had the opportunity to prove that here in this country truth matters, that right matters, that the will of the people matters more than the whims of any single powerful individual. i have no tea to throw in boston harbor tonight. and i regret that i have no rucksack to pack for my country. no blackhawk to pilot.
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nor am i asking for any grand gesture from my republican colleagues. all that i'm asking of you is to reflect on the oaths that you have sworn on the damage done to our union today, and on the sacrifices made by those who have given so much to this nation. from the service members at fort huachuca to the marchers who bent america's moral a -- every single step they took, every bridge they cross, then ask yourself whether the democracy they were willing to bleed for, the country that each of us in this chamber has sworn to defend is worth damaging in order to protect the porcelain ego of a man who treats the constitution as if it were a little more than a yellowing piece of paper. i think we all know the right
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answer. the vice president: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i yield up to five minutes to the senator from kentucky, senator paul. the vice president: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: i wrote a speech for today i was planning to say that i fear the chaos of establishing a precedent that congress can overturn elections. boy was i right. chaos, anarchy, the violence today was wrong and un-american. the vote we are about to cast is incredibly important. now more than ever the question is, should congress override the certified results from the states and nullify the states' rights to conduct elections. the vote today is not a protest. the vote today is literally to overturn elections. we've been told that this is a protest. this is about an electoral commission. no, it's not. it's about whether to seat the
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electors that have been certified by a state. it's not about a electoral commission. it's not about a protest. you can go outside if you want to protest. this is about overturning a state certified election. if you vote to overturn these elections, wouldn't it be the opposite of what states' rights republicans have always advocated for? this would doom the electoral college forever. it was never intended by our founders that congress have the power to overturn state certified elections. my oath to the constitution doesn't allow me to disobey the law. i can't vote to overturn the verdict of states. such a vote would be to overturn everything held dear by those of us who support the rights of states in this great system of federalism, those beqeeghted us -- bequeathed to us by our founders. it was created to devolve the power of selecting presidential electors to the states. the electoral college is without
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question an inseparable friend to those who believe that every american across our vast country deserves to be heard. if congress were to give the power to overturn the states election, what terrible chaos would ensue every four years? imagine the furor against the electoral college if congress becomes a forum to overturn states' electoral college slates. it's one thing to be angry. it's another to focus one's anger in constructive ways. that hasn't happened today, to say the least. we simply cannot destroy the constitution, our laws and the electoral college in the process. i hope as the nation's anger cools, we can channel that energy into essential electoral reforms at the state level. america is admired around the world for our free elections. we must, we absolutely must fix
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this mess and restore confidence and integrity to our elections. we must. the vice president: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: the senator from virginia, senator warner. the vice president: the senator from virginia. mr. warner: mr. president, i think like most of us i'm still pretty reeling from what happened today. what i was going to talk about was the work, the work i'm most proud of since i've been here with my good friend richard brrr and all the members of the -- richard burr and all the members of the intelligence committee of a report we did in foreign interference in our elections. probably our top recommendation of that five five-volume bipartn report was that any official or candidate should use restraint and caution when questioning results of our elections.
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because when you do so, you often carry out the goals of our foreign adversaries. use caution because whether knowingly or unknowingly and whether that adversary is in russia or china or iran, their goals are pretty simple. they want to make it appear to americans, to folks around the world, to their own people that there's nothing special about american democracy. i was going to try in a feeble way to maybe reach some of the rhetorical heights of ben sasse and i knew i couldn't do that. so instead -- i know i'm very lating rules. today is the day for violating rules. this is a photo that appeared today on one of the most proper incident german newspapers. you don't need to -- you can draw up photos from any newspaper or any television feed
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anywhere across the world. and what does this -- is this photo of? it's of thugs, thugs in the halls of this capitol. todadiminish -- diminishing everything we say, we believe in in this democracy. and when you look at those images, you realize those images are priceless for our adversaries. god willing tonight in an overwhelming way, we're going to take a small step in a bipartisan way of restoring that trust of hopefully our people and billions of people around the world who believe in that notion of american democracy. remember, these i amages are still there. i yield back. the vice president: the majority
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leader. deployed mr. president, i yield up to five minutes to the senator from missouri, senator hawley. the vice president: the senator from missouri. mr. hawley: mr. president, thank you. i want to begin this evening by saying thank you to the men and women of the capitol hill police , the national guardsmen, the metropolitan police and others who came to this capitol, who put their lives on the line to protect everyone here working inside of it. and i want to thank law enforcement all across this country, in my home state of missouri and everywhere else who do that day in and day out. and i just want to acknowledge that when it comes to violence, this has been a terrible year in america, this last year. we've seen a lot of violence against law enforcement, and today we saw it here in the capitol of the united states. and in this country, in the united states of america, we cannot say emphatically enough, violence is not how you achieve change. violence is not how you achieve
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something better. our constitution was built and put into place so that there would be, in the words of abraham lincoln, no appeal from ballots to bullets, which is what we saw unfortunately attempted tonight. there is no place for that in the united states of america. and that's why i submit to my colleagues that what we are doing here tonight is actually very important because for those who have concerns about the integrity of our elections, those who have concerns about what happened in november, this is the appropriate means, this is the lawful place where those objections and concerns should be heard. this is the forum that the law provides for our laws, provides for for those concerns to be registered. not through violence, not by appealing from ballots to bullets, but here in this lawful process. and to those who say this is just a formality today, an
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antique ceremony that we have engaged in for a couple of hundred years, i can't say that i agree, i can't say that our precedents suggest that. i actually think it's very vital what we do, the opportunity to be heard, to register objections is very vital because this is the place where those objections are to be heard and dealt with, debated and finally resolved. in this lawful means, peacefully, without violence, without attacks, without bullets. and so, mr. president, let me just say now briefly, in lieu of speaking about it later, a word about pennsylvania, which is a state that i have been focused on, objected to, as an example of why people are concerned, millions of americans are concerned about our election integrity. say that pennsylvania, quite apart from allegations of any fraud, you have a state constitution that has been interpreted for over a century to say that there is no mail-in balloting permitted except for in very narrow circumstances that's also provided for in the
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law, and yet, last year, pennsylvania elected officials passed a whole new law that allows universal mail-in balloting and did it irregardless of what the pennsylvania constitution said. and then when a pennsylvania citizen tried to go and be heard on this subject before the pennsylvania supreme court, they were dismissed on grounds of procedure, timeliness, and violation of that supreme court's own precedent. so the merits of the case have never been heard, the constitutionality of the statute has never been defended. i am not aware of any court that has passed on its constitutionality. i actually am not aware of anybody that has defended the constitutionality. this is the statute that governed this last election in which there were over 2.5 million mail-in ballots in pennsylvania. this is my point, that this is the forum. the pennsylvania supreme court hasn't heard the case. there is no other court to go to to hear the case in the state. and so this is the appropriate place for these concerns to be
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raised, which is why i had raised them here today. and i hope that this body will not miss the opportunity to take affirmative action to address the concerns of so many millions of americans. to say to millions of americans tonight that violence is never warranted, that violence will not be tolerated, that those who engage in it will be prosecuted, but that this body will act to address the concerns of all americans across the country. we do need an investigation into irregularities, fraud. we do need a way forward together. we need election security reforms. i bet my friends on the other side of the aisle don't disagree with that. we need to find a way to move forward on that together so that the american people from both parties, all walks of life, can have confidence in their elections and that we can arrange ourselves under the rule of law that we share together. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the vice president: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: the senator from pennsylvania, mr. casey. the vice president: the senator
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from pennsylvania. mr. casey: i rise tonight to defend the people of the commonwealth of pennsylvania, to defend the more than 6.9 million voters who voted in this election, and to condemn in the strongest possible terms this attempt to disenfranchise the voters of pennsylvania based upon a lie, a falsehood. that same lie sowed the seeds of today's violence and today's lawlessness here in the capitol. one of my constituents, susan, from the lehigh valley, the community of our state where senator toomey lives, recently wrote to my office and perhaps said it best. she said, and i quote, we cannot allow anybody to overturn the legal votes of the citizens of pennsylvania. this would be the ultimate
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destruction of our democracy, unquote. susan had it right. we cannot allow anybody -- and she put that word in all caps -- to overturn the legal votes of the people of our state. let me address the allegation regarding the pennsylvania constitution and the general assembly. somehow that the general assembly didn't have the authority to enact no-excuse mail-in voting, that process for the people of our state. first, the law in question, act 77, was passed in 2019 and was implemented without any serious question as to its constitutionality. the law was passed by a republican-controlled general assembly, house and senate. it was only after the 2020 election when it became clear that president-elect joe biden
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won pennsylvania by little more than 80,000 votes did some republican politicians in our state decide to challenge the constitutionality of the law. second, act 77 is plainly constitutional. my colleagues alleged that the state constitution requires in-person voting except under limited circumstances. this is not true. while pennsylvania lays out specific situations in which absentee voting is required, there is no in-person requirement in our state's constitution. the constitution sets a floor, not a ceiling, for this type of voting. second, apart from the argument made by my colleague, there is bipartisan agreement across our state, at the local, state, and federal level, that our election was fair, secure, and lawful. on monday, my colleague from
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pennsylvania, senator toomey, wrote in an op-ed, and i'm quoting, the evidence is overwhelming that joe biden won this election, unquote. there is simply no evidence to justify the outrageous claims of widespread voter fraud or election irregularity to justify those seeking to overturn the election. 60 cases, court after court, all throughout our state and throughout the country, including the supreme court, dealing with this bizarre argument that we know is based upon that lie. in one court, the united states court of appeals for the third circuit, judge beavis, appointed by president trump. he said, quote, the campaign's claims have no merit, unquote. the united states, he said, has free and fair elections which are the lifeblood of our democracy. charges require specific allegations and then proof.
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we have neither here, unquote, so said judge beavis. finally, mr. president, a word about those election officials who did such work. these election officials all across our state, republicans and democrats, from red counties and blue counties, they did their jobs. they are patriots. and these objections are an attack on these pennsylvania public servants. give you one example. republican commissioner al smitd say, of philadelphia. he wrote, and i will quote as follows. quote, there really should not be a disagreement regardless of party affiliation when we're talking about counting votes by eligible voters. it's not a very controversial thing, or at least it shouldn't be, unquote. after election day, commissioner al schmidt, his family and his colleagues, were subjected to
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death threats simply because he was trying to do his job with integrity. it calls to mind, mr. president, that great line from "america the beautiful." o beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years. these election officials, like so many of our patriots. we heard from senator duckworth tonight, a real patriot. these patriots did their job. let's support these patriots. vote against this objection. i yield the floor. the vice president: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i yield five minutes to the senator from utah, senator romney. the vice president: the senator from utah. mr. rommie: mr. president, today was heart breaking, and -- and i was shaken to the core as i thought about the people i met in china and russia and afghanistan and iraq and other places yearning for freedom, and to look -- and who look to this building and these shores as a place of hope, and i saw the
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images being broadcast around the world, and it breaks my heart. i have 25 grandchildren. many of them were watching tv, thinking about this building, whether their grandpa was okay. i knew i was okay. i must tell you as well, i was proud to serve with these men and women. this is an extraordinary group of people. i am proud to be a member of the united states senate and be with people of integrity as we do here today. now we gather due to a selfish man's injured pride, and the outrage of supporters who he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning. what happened here today was an insurrection incited by the president of the united states. those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate democratic election will forever be seen as being
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complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy. fairly or not, they will be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in american history. that will be their legacy. i salute senator lankford, loeffler, braun, and daines and i'm sure others who, in the light of the day's outrage, have withdrawn their objection. for any who remain insistent on an audit in order to satisfy the many people who believe that the election was stolen, i'd offer this perspective -- no congressional audit is ever going to convince these voters, particularly when the president will continue to say that the election was stolen. the best way we could show respect for the voters who were upset is by telling them the truth.
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[applause] mr. romney: that's the burden, that's the duty of leadership. the truth is that president-elect biden won the election, president trump lost. i have had that experience myself. it's no fun. scores of courts, the president's own attorneys general, state election officials, both republican and democrat, have reached that unequivocal decision. and in light of today's sad circumstances, i ask my colleagues, do we weigh our own political fortunes more heavily than we weigh the strength of our republic, the strength of our democracy, and the cause of freedom? what's the weight of personal acclaim compared to the weight of conscience? leader mcconnell said that the
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vote today is the most important in his 36 years of public service. think of that. authorizing two wars, voting in two impeachments. he said that not because the vote reveals something about the election, it's because this vote reveals something about us. i urge my colleagues to move forward with completing the electoral count, to refrain from further objections, and to unanimously affirm the legitimacy of the presidential election. thank you, mr. president. the vice president: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: the senator from new hampshire, senator shaheen. vice president haven't the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: mr. president, on january 3, i along with 31 of my colleagues stood in this chamber and swore an oath to support and defend the constitution of the united states. it's both ironic and deeply
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disappointing that only three days after swearing these oaths, some of my colleagues are willfully coming close to breaking this promise. since 1797, each u.s. senate has peacefully handed over power to the next, and that will happen again on january 20 when donald trump, despite the protesters today, the violence today, when donald trump leaves the white house at noon and joe biden becomes president. and we've heard tonight from both democrats and republicans about the importance of the voters speaking in the election and about the fact that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. but this is not just an issue for us here in the united states. this is an issue for nascent
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democracies around the world who, as senator romney said, look to the united states as an example. we are the shining city on the hill. we give those struggling under oppression hope for a better future. now, like so many of us in this chamber, i've traveled to developing democracies around the world -- to afghanistan and iraq, to the western balkans, to africa, to the country of georgia. i went there with my colleague, senator risch, in 2012. we went to georgia to observe officially on behalf of the senate the election between outgoing president mikhail cashville lee and his united national movement part and the change by georgian dream, which was a newly formed party
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supported and funded by billionaire oligarch kabanishvili. it was a battle for parliament but also for control of the government. senator risch and i visited multiple polling places on election day, and we agreed with the international assessment, that that election was free and fair and that georgian dream were the winners. but there was real concern in the country that is they were gg to refuse to give up power, that would end up with violence, and would end the nascent forms happening in that republic. so senator risch and i, the day after the election, went to visit the new president -- the president to try and talk him out of staying in power.
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i remember very clearly going to his home, and we sat down with him and we pointed out that the hallmark of a democracy, what he had worked so hard for in his eight years as president of georgia, the hallmark of that was to turn over power in a peaceful election to the person that the voters chose. well, the president listened to us and he did leave office peacefully. but it's important that future generations recognize that america, like democracies everywhere, depends on a peaceful transition of power on believing in what the voters say and in ensuring that happens. unfortunately, we've heard from some senators today who have been enabling president trump's
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willful disregard of the votes of our citizenry, even as they speak out against foreign leaders who ignore their own people. they will fail, and history will remember them. and i hope that future generations will view the actions of some of those folks today as little more than an unfortunate anomaly. future opportunists may use this ill-fated effort to seek short-term political gain over the long-term stability of our republic. but for the sake of our great country and america's standing in the world, i ask my colleagues today to fully endorse the results of the free and fair election and set aside this partisan attempt to subvert the will of the people. we should be venerating the peaceful transition of power, even if our own preferred candidate didn't win.
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that is, after all, who we are in the united states of america. thank you, mr. president. the vice president: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i yield up to five minutes to the senator from ohio, senator portman. the vice president: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: mr. vice president, you have fulfilled your duties as president of the senate tonight with distinction, and we all appreciate it. [applause] mr. portman: i thought i might change my mind about speaking tonight given the lateness of the hour and i know all of my colleagues would have appreciated that greatly, but i felt it was necessary to speak because i want the american people, particularly my constituents in ohio, to see
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that we will not be intimidated, that we will not be disrupted from our work, that here in the citadel of democracy we will continue to do the work of the people. mob rule is not going to prevail here. now, let's face it ... we did not reclaim this chamber tonight. brave and selfless law enforcement officers stood in the breach and ensured that the citadel of democracy would be protected, and that we would be defended. and we are deeply grateful for that, as is the nation. i've listened carefully to the comments of my colleagues and i've listened over the past couple of weeks as this issue has been discussed, and i tell you, for me, it's not a hard decision. i stand with the constitution. i stand with what the constitution makes clear -- the people and the states hold the power here, not us. my oath to the constitution and
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my reverence for our democratic principles make it easy for me to confirm these state certifications. by the way, i opposed this process some 15 years ago when some democrats chose to object to the electors from my home state of ohio after the 2004 elections. i opposed it then and i oppose it now. i said at the time, congress must not thwart the will of the people. that's what we would be doing. let's assume for a moment that those who 0 be to the certifications are right -- that those who object to the certifications are right, that the constitution intended that a bare majority of the members of congress could circuit vent the will of the states chosen to certify the votes of theater own citizens. i ask the object terse to think about the precedent that would
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be set if we were to do that. what if the majority in the house and the senate was of the other party? when a presidential candidate of our party came through a close presidential election. would you want a congress controlled by the democrats to play the role you now intend for us? it is asking congress to substitute its judgment for the judgment of the voters. and its judgment for the judgment of the states that certified the results. and even forgetting the dangerous precedent that would be set, what would be the basis for objecting in this election? look, i voted for president trump. i supported him because i believe the trump administration's policies are better for ohio and for the country. and i supported the trump campaign's right to pursue recounts. they had every right to do it -- and legal challenges.
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i agree that there were instances of fraud and i.g. regularities in the 2020 -- irregularities in the 2020 elections. there's fraud and irregularities in every presidential election. but it is also true that after two months of recounts and legal challenges, not a single state recount changed the result. and of the dozens of lawsuits filed, not one found evidence of fraud or irregularities widespread enough to change the result of the election. this was the finding of numerous republican-appointed judges and the trump administration's own department of justice. every state has now weighed in and chosen to certify its electoral slate based on the popular vote, as set out in the constitution. i understand that many americans who would never storm this
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capitol don't trust the integrity of the 2020 election, don't think the states should have certified, don't think we should have accepted the results from the states, and are insisting on more transparency and accountability. in the 2016 elections, lest we forget, many democrats objected to the results and distrusted the election. i challenge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to listen but also to do our part to try to restore faith in our elections. mr. president, we should all work to improve the integrity of the electoral system and the confidence of the american people in this bedrock of our great democratic republic. today i'll do my constitutional duty and oppose these efforts to reject the state-certified rums and tomorrow in the wake of this attack on the capitol, the
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pandemic that engulfs us and other national challenges, let's work together for the people. i yield back. the vice president: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: mr. president, i believe we've eight minutes left, so i'd like to give four to senator king and four to senator van hollen. the vice president: that's correct. martin luthermr. king: mr. presn churchill said if he could do a two-hour speech extemporaneously but a ten-minute speech took immense preparation. i don't know what he would have said about a four-minute speech. we are a 240-year anomaly in world history. we think that what we have here in this country is the way it's always been. it is a very unusual form of government. the normal form of government
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throughout world history is dictators, kings, czars, pharaohs, warlords, tyrants. and we thought 20 years ago the march of history was toward democracy, but it is in retreat in hungary and turkey, goodness knows in russia. democracy, as we have practiced it, is fragile. it's fragile, and it rests upon trust. it rests upon trust in facts. it rests upon trust in courts. in public officials, and, yes, in elections. i don't simple that thighs or justice -- i don't sympathize or justify or in any way support -- that's a mild -- that's putting it mildly -- what happened here
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today, but i understand it. i understand it because i saw those people interviewed today, and they said, we're here because this election has been stolen, and the reason they said that is that their leader has been telling them that every day for two months. we cannot afford to pull bricks out from the foundation of trust that underlines -- underlies our entire system. and i agree with governor romney that the answer to this problem is to tell people the truth. it is to tell them what happened. it's easy to confront your opponents. it's hard to confront your friends. it's hard to tell your supporters something they don't
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want to hear. but that's our obligation. that's why the word "leader" is applied to people in jobs like ours. it's not supposed to be easy. it's supposed to be something that we take on as a sacred obligation. and if people believe something that isn't true, it's our obligation to tell them, no, i'm sorry, it isn't. just as senator portman just said, as mike lee just said. i'm sorry, we can't do this here. we don't want to do this here. this is a power reserve to the states, not to the congress. and i agree with the majority leader. i think this is one of the most important votes any of us will ever take. on december 1, 1862, abraham lincoln came to this building. he came to this building in the darkest days of the civil war. he was trying to awaken the
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congress to the crisis that we were facing. and he didn't feel that they were fully and effectively engaged and he ended his speech that day with words that i think have an eerie relevance tonight. here's what abraham lincoln said. fellow americans, we cannot escape history. we of this congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. no personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. and here's his final words. the fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor
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or dishonor to the latest generation. the fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the vice president: the senator from maryland. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. president. the mob violence and attack we saw on our capitol today should be a wakeup call to each and every one of us of what happens when we fail to come together, not as democrats and republicans, but each of us as americans to stand up to a president who time and again has shown contempt for our
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democracy, contempt for our constitution. today here on the capitol we witnessed people taking down an american flag and putting up a trump flag. that is not democracy in the united states of america. as every senator who has spoken has mentioned, we have for hundreds of years had a peaceful transfer of power. nobody likes to lose and supporters of the losing candidate are always disappointed. what's different this time? we all know what's different this time. we had a president, who as the senator from new jersey said, even before a vote was cast, that if he didn't win the election, it was going to be a fraud and every day since then has perpetrated that lie. we have a president who just
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today criticized very loyal vice president who is presiding right now, urging him to disregard his responsibilities of the constitution of the united states in order to reinstall donald trump as president. the same person who got on the phone to the secretary of state in georgia and threatened him to change the results of the election. mr. president, i read something this week i never thought i'd read in a newspaper in the united states of america. it was an op-ed by all the living secretaries of defense, including secretaries rumsfeld, cheney, and mattis warning -- warning the country about our tradition of peaceful transfer of power and that it would be inappropriate for the military to take sides. in the united states of america.
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we talk to the world about how we want to promote democracy and our values and right here at home too many are undermining those values. and, mr. president, donald trump could not do this alone. he can only do it if he's aided and abetted by individuals who are willing to perpetrate those lies and those conspiracies. and that is why it is so important that we, as democrats and republicans and senators, stand up together, stand up together and tell the truth. you know, when you go into a court of law like those 60 cases, you're testifying under penalty of perjury. that's very different than here in the house and the senate and in all of those 60 cases under penalty of perjury, there was no evidence of widespread fraud.
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so it should be easy for us, all together, to tell the truth. on january 20, joe biden will be sworn in as the next president of the united states. he has said he wants to bring the country together. he has said he wants to bring democrats and republicans together to do some of the pressing business of this country to defeat this pandemic, to get the economy going again, to face challenging issues of racial and social justice. i hope we will learn from what happened today, the mob attack on this capitol, the price we pay when we don't stand up for the truth and for democracy. james mchenry, maryland's delegate to the constitutional convention wrote about a famous exchange in his diaries between elizabeth willie powell and benjamin franklin. wrote, a lady asked, well,
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doctor, what have we got a republic or monarchy. a republic replied dr. franklin, if you can keep it. my colleagues, this is a test of whether we're united to keep our republic. i hope we will pass the test together. thank you, mr. president. the vice president: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i yield up to five minutes to the senator from south carolina, senator graham. the vice president: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: many times my state has been the problem. i love it. it's where i want to die but no time soon. tim and i have a good relationship. i love tim scott. 1876, south carolina, louisiana, and florida sent two slate of electors, they had two
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governments, by the way, and we didn't know what to do. why did south carolina, florida, and louisiana do it? to hold the country hostage to end reconstruction. it worked. the commission was 8-7. it didn't work. nobody accepted it. the way it ended is when hayes did a deal with these three states, you give me the electors, i'll kick the union army out. the rest is history. it led to jim crow. if you're looking for historical guidance, this is not the one to pick. if you're looking for a way to convince people there was no fraud, having a commission chosen by nancy pelosi, mitch mcconnell, and john roberts is not going to get you to where you want to go. it ain't gonna work.
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so it's not going to do any good. it's going to delay and it gives credibility to a dark chapter of our history. that's why i'm not with you, but i will fight to my death for you. you're able to be object, you're not able to do anything wrong, other people have objected. i think it's a uniquely bad idea to delay this election. trump and i, we had a hell of a journey. i hailt it being this way. -- a hate it being this way. from my point of view, he's been a conventional president, but today, first thing you will see, all i can say is count me out. enough is enough. i tried to be helpful. but when this wisconsin supreme court ruled 4-3 that they didn't violate the constitution of wisconsin, i agreed with the three, but i accept the four. if al gore can accept 5-4, he's not president, i can accept
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wisconsin 4-3. it went to the court, they said, no you're wrong, i accept the pennsylvania second circuit that trump's lawsuit wasn't right. georgia, they said the secretary of state took the law in his own hands, he changed the election laws unlawfully. a federal judge said no, i accept the federal jublg, even though i don't agree with it. fraud, they said there's 66,000 people in georgia, under 18 voted. i didn't -- they said 8,000 felons in prison voted, give me ten, hadn't got one. does that say there's problems in every election. i don't buy this. enough's enough. we've got to end it. vice president pence, what they are asking you to do you won't do because you can't. you talk about interesting
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times. i associate myself with rand paul. how many times will you hear that? the mob has done something else nobody else could do, to get me and rand to agree. rand is right. if you're a conservative, this is the most offensive concept in the world that a single person could disenfranchise 155 million people. the president of the senate shall in the presence of the senate and house of representatives, open all certificates and the vote shall then be counted, the person having the greatest number of votes for president shall be president. where does it say, i don't like the resultsism want to send -- results. i want to send them back to the states. to the conservatives who believe in the constitution, now is it the time to -- is the time to stand up and be counted. originalism, count me in. it means what it says.
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my -- mr. vice president, hang in there. they say we can count on mike. you will do the right thing. you have a son who flies f-35's, a son-in-law who flies f-18's, they are flying so we get it right here. there are people dying, to my good friend from illinois, to make sure we have a chance to argue among ourselves. and when it is over, it is over. it is over. joe biden, i travel the world with joe. i hoped he lost. i prayed he would lose. he won. he's the legitimate president of the united states. i cannot convince people, certain groups, by my words, but i will tell you by my actions that i, above all others in this body need to say this, joe biden and kamala harris are lawfully elected and will become the
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president and the vice president of the united states on january 20. the vice president: majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i yield back the balance of our time. the vice president: all time has expired. the question is, shall the objection submitted by the gentleman from arizona, mr. gosar and the senator from texas, mr. cruz, and others, be sustained? is there a second? there is. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the vice president: on this vote the jayce are 6. the nays are 93. the objection is not sustained. the secretary will notify the house of the action of the senate informing the body that the senate is ready to proceed to joint session with further counting of the electoral vote for president and vice president. the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president. colleagues, here's where we are. we have a few more speakers now as we wait for the house to
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finish their debate and vote. we expect the house to finish voting on arizona between 11:30 and midnight. i ask unanimous consent the senate be in a period of morning business with the following senators permitted to speak therein for up to five minutes each. senator toomey, senator rubio, senator collins. mr. schumer: on our side senators wyden, hirono and coons. mr. mcconnell: following their remarks, the senate stand in recess subject to the call of the chair. is the senate be in a period of morning business with the following senators permitted to spook for up to five minutes -- to speak therein for up to five minutes each. toomey, rubio and collins.
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mr. schumer: wye den, hirono and coons. the presiding officer: is there objection?
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mr. toomey: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. the senate will be in order. the senate will be in order. the senate will be in order. please take your conversations out of the chamber. the senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: thank you very much, mr. president. and i appreciate the indulgence of my colleagues allowing me to speak twice today. but my understanding is that later this evening, objectors
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will object to the certification of pennsylvania's electoral votes because they disapprove of the process that my state used in the last election. the presiding officer: will the senator suspend for a minute. please take your conversations out of the chamber. the senator deserves to be heard. the senator is recognized. mr. toomey: thank you, mr. president. in light of my expectation of this objection, i'm -- i rise to defend the right of my citizens, my constituents to vote in the presidential election. let's be clear. that's exactly what this objection is about. it's what it would do. it would overturn the results of the presidential election of pennsylvania, and it would thereby deny pennsylvania's voters the opportunity to even participate in the presidential election. mr. president, even if congress did have the constitutional responsibility to judge the
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worthiness of a state's election process, which it does not, rejecting pennsylvania's electoral votes would still be wildly out of proportion to the purported offenses and very damaging to our republic. let me go through a few facts about pennsylvania. first, some of the objectors and in fact even the president of the united states this morning have observed that the pennsylvania supreme court disregarded existing law when it ruled that mail-in ballots could be counted even if they arrived up to three days after the election day. now, the objectors are right about that. in my view the supreme court of the united states should overturn that illegal decision. but, mr. president, only 10,097 ballots arrived in pennsylvania during the three days after the election and those 10,097 ballots have been excluded from the vote count that resulted in president-elect biden winning pennsylvania by about 80,000
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votes. what greater remedy could the objectors possibly want than the complete exclusion of the late late-arriving ballots? how could we possibly invalidate the entire pennsylvania electi election, over 10,000 votes that were not even included in the vote count? a second charge we heard and the senator from missouri alluded to it this evening is a 2019 pennsylvania law that allows mail-in ballots for any reason, that that might violate the pennsylvania constitution. well, first of all, as senator casey observed, this was a bipartisan law passed with nearly unanimous republican support. clearly the state legislators and the governor believe it is consistent with the pennsylvania constitution. secondly, this law was not challenged when it was passed. it wasn't challenged when it was applied during the june primary election. it was only challenged after president trump lost the general
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election. but 2.6 million pennsylvanians voted by mail-in ballot in the general election. over 37% of pennsylvania voters in good faith relied on a law to cast their votes as they had done previously. now, i understand you can make a theoretical argument about whether this is consistent with pennsylvania's constitution and that needs to be resolved for future elections but because of this constitutional question that some people have, the objectors want to prevent pennsylvania voters from participating in the presidential election entirely. that would be an outrageous remedy to this purported offense. a third charge we've heard is that pennsylvania officials did not properly implement painlz election law -- pennsylvania election law in a variety of other ways. but the trump campaign has shown that many of these issues have -- well, first of all none of these issues would have changed the election outcome but more importantly, the campaign had
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many opportunities of which it availed itself to litigate these issues. they did time and again and they lost repeatedly, often in unanimous bipartisan decisions. now, some of the objectors also cite congress' own failure to investigate allegations of election irregularities, and that's their justification for refusing to certify the election results. but the allegations of election irregularities and fraud have been investigated. they've been adjudicated. they were adjudicated in the states of which they were alleged to have occurred. in paindz the trump -- pennsylvania the trump campaign took their election irregularities in the courtroom of matthew brand of federal district court. he's a conservative republican societyist member. here's what he said. this court has been presented with strange legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations unsupported by evidence. in the united states of america,
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this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter let alone all the voters of the sixth most populated state. end quote. so the campaign then appealed judge brand's decision to the third circuit and they drew a three-judge panel, all republican appointed judges, one appointed by president trump. the panel concurred with judge brand. mr. president, certainly there were irregularities in this election. there always are but there's no evidence of significant fraud, conspiracies or even significant anon-anomalies that cast any serious doubt on who won the election. one way you can tell is look at the big picture in pennsylvania. look at what happened. in 2016 president trump won pennsylvania by eight then ts of 1%. in 2020 he lost pennsylvania by a little over 1%. is there anything at all that's implausible or surprising about a 2% change in the election
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outcome? relative to 2016 in pennsylvania the president lost a little ground in most of the rural counties he had carried. he lost a lot of ground in the big suburbans counties and slightly narrowed his large loss in philadelphia. there's no surprises here. this reflects a pattern that occurred all across the country. my colleagues, as i've said, it is not our responsibility to sit in judgment of state election procedures in the first place. but if it were, there would not be nearly sufficient reason to deny my constituents their right to participate in this presidential election. mr. president, joe biden won the election. that's not what i had hoped for but that's what happened. it was an honest victory. with the usual minor irregularities that occur in most elections. we witnessed today the damage that can result when men in power and responsibility refuse to acknowledge the truth.
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we saw bloodshed because the demagogue chose to spread falsehoods and sow distrust of his own fellow americans. let's not abet such deception. let's reject this motion. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: mr. president, with just a few minutes to speak, i'm going to get right to the point. gunfire in the halls here, i.e.d.'s on the capital grounds, i will say to my colleagues i've been stunned that with the domestic terrorists roping the halls just a few hours ago, i'm stunned that this debate is actually going forward. and that's because, colleagues, this is a fake debate on
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electoral certification. that's because it lends credibility to the bogus idea that the congress can actually toss out the results of the election. and as we saw today, it serves to fuel insurrection. now, contrary to what some of my aye voting colleagues believe by votes cast just a few minutes ago, this debate has never been about setting up some kind of routine election tribunal. this isn't about election security. if the republican majority for the last two years had actually been interested in election security, they would not have worked relentlessly to block my
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legislation to secure our 2020 elections with hand-marked paper ballots and post-election security audits. by the way, those are the kinds of approaches that are part of the oregon system where for 25 years we voted by mail. i'm the nation's first mail-in united states senator. the second -- and i see my colleague from maine and alaska here because they're very fond of him like i was -- gordon smith, a republican was the second mail-in united states senator in our country. that's because we do the job right. it's efficient. our late republican secretary of state dennis richardson actually told president trump there was
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no evidence of fraud. so if republicans had been interested over the last two years and actually working with me and colleagues on both sides of the aisle and secretaries of state, we could have had an approach that would have empowered the oregon idea to go national. instead we're now debating tonight an idea of a discussion grounded in total fiction, brewed in caldrons of conspiracies online. these colleagues are fever dreams, fever dreams laundered by people with election certificates and real power. and i will tell you it's been painful to watch colleagues sidle up to some of those sprirs
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-- conspiracies that would inflict so much -- inflict so much damage to the american experiment. i will close with one other point. we saw today an effort by domestic terrorists to try to punch our democracy to the ground, to the ropes. and i'm going to close by simply saying something that hadn't been said tonight. and that is donald trump can do enormous damage to our country in the next two weeks. in the next two weeks, colleagues, donald trump can do enormous damage to our wonderful country. this afternoon -- i don't know if my colleagues saw it -- the national association of manufacturers, an organization with thousands of businesses, thousands of companies, and not exactly a left-wing outfit, they
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called for moving forward with the 25th amendment. all over the news already, colleagues, this afternoon. the national association of manufacturers. that's what we're seeing in our country with respect to the fear of americans having watched what happened here. so i'm just going to close by way of saying i believe that for the next two weeks we have an enormous responsibility to watchdog donald trump day in and day out, to do everything possible to prevent the kind of abuses that we saw today where an american lost her life. and we saw the fear among our
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citizens at what went on. let's do everything we can as leaders, democrats and republicans, to make sure in the next two weeks donald trump's abuses are checked. we do everything we can to protect this wonderful nation of ours. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida is recognized. mr. rubio: mr. president, over the last weeks and days leading up to this vote here today, i've heard from a lot of people. about this vote. i guess i want to address as much to them as anybody else. and these are people i know.
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these are friends. these are neighbors. these are long-time supporters, generally people on my side of the political aisle. and they're upset. they're upset. they look at the media and the media, they censored stories that might have been negative toward joe biden and social media companies helped them out. they saw how some states tinkered with or mutilated election laws and they have doubts that the election was legitimate. and it gives this country this extraordinary crisis of confidence, which is very dangerous because democracy is very fragile, and it's not held together by elections. democracy is held together by people's confidence in the election and their willingness to abide by its results. and so the notion was we need to do something, we need to fight. several of my colleagues have adopted the idea -- and i respect it -- that they're going to object. now, listen, it's important to understand something. even the people objecting in the senate recognized that it's not going to pass. it's not going to change the
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outcome, but it's going to send a message, and it's going to make a point. the problem is, i think it's a terrible idea at this moment. just hours ago, a young lady died in this capitol. that means somebody somewhere in this country got a phone call that their daughter was dead. their daughter was going to a political rally. she is dead, died in this capitol, somewhere not far from where we are standing. we had police officers, the men and women that we walk by every single day that guard the doors and we say hello to out there with riot gear getting spit on and attacked. today, not ten weeks ago. just a few hours ago. and i think it's important to think about all those things on a night like tonight and everything that's happened. you know, i wouldn't even be here today, i doubt very much would i even have been interested in politics had it
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not been for my grandfather. he died when i was 14, but i grew up at his knee. he would sit on his porch, smoke three cigars a day, and he loved history. he was born in 1899 in rural cuba. it was still governed by the united states. it was protected. three years later, it gained its independence and became a republic. during my grandfather's first 60 years of life, he saw his country have an armed insurrection after a contested election, multiple presidents go into exile, two military coups, and the rise of a marxist dictator. the -- my entire life, my entire life, i have lived with and next to people who came to america because their country was chaotic and their country was unsafe. what i saw today, what we have seen looks more like those countries than the extraordinary nation that i am privileged to
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call home. and i think about the mockery that it makes of our country. a lot of people, china, let me just say something. in all modesty, no one has worked harder on the issue of china. they hate my guts. sanction, i don't know what they are sanctioning, double sanctioned, and i can't travel there. i wasn't planning to anyway. china is laughing. they're loving this tonight. in beijing, they are high-fiving because they point at us and say this is proof the future belongs to china, america is in decline. vladimir putin, there's nothing vladimir putin could have come up with better than what happened here. it makes us look like we're in total chaos and collapse. not to mention the ayatollah who is probably bragging, if he has buddies, to his buddies look what's happening to the great satan. i think politics has made us crazy. everybody in this country has lost their minds on politics, and we have forgotten that america is not a government.
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america is not a president. america is not a congress. let me tell you what america is. america is your family. america is your faith. america is your community. that's america. that's what our adversaries don't understand, and that's what we need to remember. that is how we're going to rebuild this country and turn the page and how the -- and have a future even brighter than our past. so that's why i feel so strongly about this and why i hope those who disagree with me will understand. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii is recognized. ms. hirono: mr. president, it has been hard at times to find the words to describe the full harm donald trump has inflicted on our country.
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we can spend hours dissecting on his policies that have made us less safe, less healthy, but his presidency has also been a profound moral failure. let me tell you a story. a few years ago, a father from hawaii joined me at one of my talk-story sessions in my office, and he asked me a question that struck me hard at that time and has stuck with me until today. he said how can i tell my son that lying is not okay when the president of the united states lies every single day? i struggle to answer his -- struggled to answer his question then, and i'm not sure i could offer an adequate answer now, but this conversation remains a clear example of how we do not live in normal times. how is it normal as we and the
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world watched in horror as an angry mob stormed the united states capitol. blood was shed. people were hurt. vandalism occurred. it is not normal when we have a president who lies every single day, and even in the face of this vandalism, this mob, he really doesn't have much to say except i love you, you should go home now. it's not normal when in the middle of a pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 350,000 americans, which is nearly the combined population of the islands of maui and the big island, we have a president who only seems to care about spreading conspiracies to undermine confidence in our elections and our democracy. and it's not normal when duly elected senators who took an
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oath to uphold the constitution pull a stunt to try and nullify millions of votes in six states so that donald trump can remain president. i call this effort a stunt because it is doomed to fail. we have a strong bipartisan majority as noted in the vote that we just took, and both chambers of congress who reject this stunt and courts have ruled against trump and his allies in more than 60 cases. so whenever this farce ends, the result will be the same. donald trump will have lost the election, and joe biden will become the 46th president of the united states. you can tell a lot about a person from the way they handle defeat. the way donald trump has handled defeat says a lot about who he is. watching so many of our colleagues indulge the president
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tells us a lot about them, too. we don't have to look back very far in history to find examples of candidates who lost tough races but demonstrated their character in defeat. our colleague, senator romney, graciously conceded his defeat to president obama and noting that, quote, at a time like this, we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work, and we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. and in 2000, during an election, with substantial irregularities and partisan innovation from the supreme court, al gore nevertheless put his country first, and he said let there be no doubt that while i strongly disagree with the court's decision, i accept it, and tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, i
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offer my concession. as i reflect on the service of these distinguished public servants and the acts they took to maintain our democracy, i'm also drawn to remarks president obama made four years ago in his farewell address to the nation when he warned that our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted. it is a particularly sage warning as we contend with the president of the united states seeking to nullify a free and fair election simply because he lost. we have to stand up, speak up, and fight back because our democracy itself is at stake. american democracy has endured over the centuries in large part because our institutions serve as guardrails to keep us from going over the cliff. as elected officials, we can strengthen these guardrails by listening to our own conscience in moments of peril by having what our friend john lewis
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called an executive session with myself. before making a big decision, john would say listen, self, this is what you must do. this is where you must go. today we can follow john's example. listen to our conscience. stand up for our constitution and do what's right. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from maine is recognized. ms. collins: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, let me begin my remarks tonight by expressing my hard felt gratitude to the members of the law enforcement community and the national guard whose hard work and courage made it possible for us to resume our
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deliberations tonight. we return to this chamber tonight undeterred by the violence we witnessed and strengthened in our determination to fulfill our constitutional duty. mr. president, the constitution is the foundation of our american democracy, and the constitution is what must guide our decisions on the presidential election. the process the constitution sets forth for electing presidents through the electoral college is straightforward. the people vote. electors are closen. the electors vote. then congress counts the electors' votes.
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that final step in the process is why we have convened today. counting the votes of the electors, a function that the 12th amendment assigns to congress, is an administrative and largely ceremonial act. our job is simply to count the votes certified by each state. nothing more. we should not attempt to usurp the roles of the voters, the states, or the electoral college. mr. president, the american people have done their job turning out in record numbers to vote in the midst of a frightening pandemic. indeed, as a percentage of the voting-eligible population, the turnout was the highest in 120
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years. similarly, in the midst of this pandemic, hundreds of election officials and volunteers have done their job staffing polling places and faithfully counting and often recounting votes. the states have done their job by certifying the election results. now, mr. president, i've heard the proponents of these objections raise questions about whether the various states conducted their elections properly. when disputes over elections arise, candidates are able to appeal to our legal system, not congress, for recourse. in the two months since the 2020
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election, the president's lawyers and allies have had the opportunity to make their arguments and challenge election results before the courts. notably, every one of nearly 60 lawsuits that they brought forward have been rejected. in fact, the supreme court has twice refused to hear their election challenges. mr. president, we must abide by these rulings. the time has now come for congress to do its job. we should affirm the certified results of each state by counting the votes of their electors.
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mr. president, altering the results of the electoral college would set a terrible precedent in which the party in control of congress could override the will of the voters and overrule our courts to unilaterally choose the next president. one senator tempted such a maneuver after the election in 2004, and the senate overwhelmingly rejected that effort. the senate has demonstrated by its vote tonight that it will follow that precedent and do so again. today -- tonight, mr. president, i will continue to vote to reaffirm the foundation of our
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democracy, the constitution of the united states, and i will reject these challenges to the electoral college. thank you, mr. president. mr. merkley: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon is is recognized. mr. merkley: mr. president, i invite all of my colleagues to cast your eyes upon these three boxes sitting on the table in front of the dais. these three boxes contain the certified results from every state in our union regarding how that state voted, how their electors have voted for the president of the united states of america. you know, you cast your eyes on these three boxes, and you know that there's something special.
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you see that there are straps on them holding the top on and straps around the side, and they're engraved, beautiful handle, beautiful ledger work. crafted in the cabinet shop of our very senate. to say that the would recalled that their cargo is -- to say that the would recalled that their cargo -- to saithe the world that their -- to say to the world that their cargo is precious. so many states were celebrating this process that they started to use very large forms, very large envelopes, very large seals to put those ballots into and, thus, a third box was needed. these boxes contain the voice of the american people weighing in, as they have election after election after election. they've been used, these two smaller boxes, in the last 149 elections -- 14 elections.
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they are transported through those doors to the house of representatives where the senate and house gather to witness the opening of the envelopes to determine who will be the president of the united states. it is our constitutional responsibility to witness the counting. that is what the constitution calls for. tonight when this senate chamber was under attack by domestic terrorists, we were held here in this room, doors locked to protect us with the help of the capitol police. they did an excellent job, and then they escorted us to a safe room. and that announcement came. when aens noment came, our -- when that announcement came, our senior assistant parliament organized a team to rescue these boxes and keep them safe. now, thank you to her and the
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entire team that rescued the voice of the american people. had they not done so, then the hooligans outside, disrespecting the constitution, would have come in here and opened these boxes and burned the ballots, destroying the voice of the people symbolically. and i know no one in this chamber wanted something like that to happen because we're here to defend the constitution, to defend the integrity of the election process, not to allow it to be destroyed. but, colleagues, although we are 100 senators or 99 actually now because there are only 99 of us that are duly elected at the moment, 99 senators united across party defending these ballots from the hooligans outside, there's more than one way that these ballots can be
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destroyed, and that is for this chamber and the house chamber to vote that one of those envelopes representing the state will be shredded, will be burned, that those votes will be discounted. we just held a vote on whether or not the envelope containing the electoral votes from arizona should be burned. we defended these ballots against the hooligans outside. but there are those in this chamber supporting the destruction of the voice of the citizens of arizona. six voted, and we are coming back later tonight to vote on whether to shred or burn the ballots for the people of pennsylvania. so we have to stand together to say absolutely not. the constitutional responsibility is for us to defend the process, not to
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proceed to destroy these ballots. now, in spite of all the troubling things that have happened in this chamber this evening, something beautiful happened, and that is we set here in this chamber all of us listening to each other, five-minute speeches, hearing each other out, diverse views, wrestling with a complicated issue. it's really the first time that's happened in the 12 years i've served in the senate. we need to restore the process of struggling with america's issues together on the floor of the senate. that's the senate i saw when i came here as an intern from my home state senator in 1976. that's the senate that i saw when i worked for congress in the 1980's. that's the senate that has disappeared. there is a conversation going forward between democrats and republicans to restore the ability to hold debate on the floor, to restore the ability to have amendments on the floor so
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that we deliberate and wrestle with in a very public and transparent fashion the big issues. so let's take this moment when we're rethinking how to restore the institutions of our government to restore and improve how this senate operates, to deal with the issues ahead of us, so that this moment is a moment where we come together rather than be divided, where in a bipartisan fashion we craft a strategy to restore issues to the floor -- bills and amendments an debate and decisions before the public. so out of a dark moment can shine a bright light, a renewal, and it is a moment much needed now, a moment much needed in the executive branch as we on the 20th of january welcome new
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leadership. and it is a moment much needed for us to restore the senate to being the deliberative body once renowned and respected around the world. let's defend these ballot boxes, both from the hooligans outside and those who would vote to destroy the ballots from any given state, and let us come together and restore the senate and fight for the vision of our we the people republic. i yield the floor. mr. carper: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware is recognized. mr. carper: thank you. free and fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. charges of unfairness are serious. i think we'll all agree. but calling an election unfair does not make it so. charges require specific
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allegations, and then they require proof. we have neither here. those are not my words. those are the words of a judge on the u.s. circuit court of appeals for the third circuit rejecting president trump's legal challenges to the pennsylvania election. i might add, a judge who was a longtime member of the conservative federalist society and was nominated to the bench by none other than donald trump. mr. president, the 2020 presidential election was hard-fought, we'll all agree, but the american people spoke clearly and they spoke decisively. 81.2 million voters voted for joe biden. 81.2. 74.2 million voted for donald trump. 51.3% of the vote went for joe
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biden. 46.8% of the vote was for donald trump. 306 electoral college votes for joe biden, 232 electoral college votes for donald trump. just four years earlier donald trump referred to that kind of outcome as a landslide for him. and he lost the popular vote. -- by three million votes. but accepting the outcome of an election can be difficult when our political party doesn't win. we've all felt that before. but calling an election unfair does not make it so. more than 60 federal and state courts involving more than 90 judges, many of whom were nominated by republican presidents, including donald trump, are all in agreement. that's pretty amazing, isn't it? all in agreement.
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no evidence of widespread fraud, wrongdoing, or other irregularities have been uncovered during the 2020 election. that's -- that is a victory. -- for democracy, for our democracy. unfortunately, some of our colleagues today ask us to do the same thing that donald trump asked of the secretary of state for the state of georgia, to overturn the results of the 2020 election without specific allegations and, more importantly, without any proof. our colleagues are asking us not to abide by the will of the people but to bend to the will of one man -- one man, donald trump. in 1787, delegates from the 13 colonies convened in philadelphia to debate the future of what would become the united states of america. our founders disagreed on a lot of things, but, you know, they all agreed on one thing for sure
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-- they did not want a king. they did not want a monarch. many of them had been there, done that. they didn't want to see it and feel it again. and they set up this intricate system of checks and balances to ensure that we would never have that all-powerful king in this country. that system of checks and balances is being pushed to a dangerous limit here today, but that system will prevail. along with it, our democracy. these are just some of the claims that donald trump and the his legal team have made and that our colleagues lend credence to her today. that venezuela, cuba, and china rigged our country's voting machines in favor of joe biden. that dead people voted in this election and they only voted for joe biden.
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that poll watchers and election observers who risked their lives during this pandemic to uphold the integrity of our elections, that stuffed ballot boxes with biden votes and then they shredded trump votes. not one -- let me repeat, not one of these things is true. there is no evidence -- no evidence -- to back up these ridiculous claims. many of these absurd claims from donald trump and his legal team are nothing more than conspiracy theories circulating online. this misinformation and dangerous rhetoric from the president and his allies, including calls for violence, have polluted our discourse and imperiled our peaceful transfer of power.
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when our colleagues show indifference to outright support for these unsubstantiated claims and conspiracy theories, they lead our nation and our constitution down a dangerous, dangerous path. all of us who serve here swore an oath to support and defend our constitution. i swore that same oath as a naval flight officer many times as a midshipman before that. but all ofs here have -- but all of us here have sworn to support and defend our constitution, not our political party and vern i not any individual -- appeared certainly not any individual candidate. colleagues, for the safety of our citizens and republic, we must turn the temperature down. it was a hard-fought campaign, but the campaign is over. the votes have been counted. the count have been certified in all 50 states.
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and in two weeks on january 20, joe biden and kamala harris will be sworn in as president and vice president of the united states. as they should be. we have serious and urgent challenges that will require working together with our new president and new vice president with one another in this chamber, independents and republicans and with our colleagues in the house of representatives. what's on our to-do list? we can start with making sure that hundreds of millions of americans get vaccinated, that we get off the dime and start vaccinating. we vaccinated four million people last month many we were supposed to vaccinate 20. how are we going to get to 250 million at this rate? what else? we have kids who are unable to get on the internet, unable to participate in classes, they
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don't have adult supervision at home. they are behind and we need to help them. what else is on our to-do list? getting their parents back to work, just to name a few things. think of all the millions of people who lost jobs and they don't have skills anymore to fill the jobs that are needed. they need our help. they need to be retooled and retrained. it's time to stop trying to overturn the will of the people and get back to working on their behalf. mr. president, abraham lincoln has been quoted a couple of times here tonight, but he observed at the end of the gettysburg address that ours is, quote, a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. even in the midst of a civil war, president lincoln put his unwavering faith in the people to chart our nation's course. we would be wise to remember lincoln's words at this moment,
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at this special moment in our nation's history. we're not a the government of trump, by trump, and for trump. we're a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. and the people have spoken. the people have spoken. our job here today is to listen to them. i intend to do that and i trust that my colleagues will join me in doing that as well. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator is recognized. mr. markey: mr. president, first i want to thank all of the first responders who helped to protect this chamber and protect those electoral college ballots. today is a special day, a day when 2,500 or more americans
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will lose their lives to the coronavirus, 130,000 will be hospitalized because of it, businesses that will close their doors and put thousands of americans out of work. we are not getting more vaccines into american's arms or how to put $2,000 in their pockets, we are using the first days of the senate to give time to our republican colleagues of election fraud in an attempt to keep donald trump in office in violation of the united states constitution. there's a word for this. it's called sedition. all of this is seditious, they are nothing short of against the established order of our republic. this is an historically shameful day for the senate and for our country. to be clear, the notion that
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there are any meaningful voted -- voter fraud that has been identified in the 2020 presidential election is a dangerous anti-democratic treasonist fiction, joe biden won, donald trump lost, period many but that hasn't stopped the president and his supporters from making allegations of voter fraud in -- in some 60 legal challenges, heard by 90 judges, including trump judicial appointees. not one succeeded. not one. despite this reality, my radical republican colleagues claim we must have a commission to investigate the fraud. well, we do know one of the most undeniable instances of substantial election fraud ever, we even have a recording and a transcript of it. it's president trump talking like a moffa boss to the georgia
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secretary of state, a republican, no less, pressuring and threatening him to fix the election in trump's favor and holding out the prospect of criminal prosecution if he doesn't. find me 11,780 votes, well, someone should find trump a real lawyer and measure him for an orange jump suit, because this -- the president's words on that phone call, indeed, his conduct since the election demand a serious response, one much more serious than the sham before us today. first, federal and state law enforcement authorities should investigate donald trump for election fraud, extortion, conspiracy and whatever other charges fit the bill and if warranted indict and try him for any crimes he has committed. second, we must recognize that donald trump is and will remain
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a danger to our constitution and our democracy. so while time is certainly limited, we should impeach trump again and bar him from holding office in the future, and, finally, we should abolish the electoral college, it is the vestige of a jim crow america and we have outgrown it. every person's vote in every state should count just the same, one person, one vote. election fraud and reform are very serious issues. election reform absolutely should be debated in congress, which is why instead of today's kabuki theater, i invite my republican colleagues to stand you and say, yes, we need to protect voting rights and election security. we need automatic voter registration, we need online voter registration, we need same-day voter registration. we should make election day a federal holiday. we should restore voting rights to people with prior felony
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convictions, we should support independent redistricting commissions. not spending how to reduce the influence of big money, to slow the revolving door between government officials and lobbists, that's the real election reform that we should be debating and supporting, not these shameful, baseless objectionists. more than 350,000 americans have died because of the -- from the coronavirus. that is the truth. nearly eight million people have fallen into poverty because of the economic crisis caused by this crisis. -- virus. that is the truth. wearing a mask saves lives, vaccines are safe and effective. that is the truth. joe biden won. donald trump lost. that is the truth. i urge all my senate colleagues
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to vote against these objections, afirp our -- affirm our democracy and that kamala harris and joe biden will be sworn in on jan 20 as the president and -- january 20 as the president and vice president of the united states. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut is recognized. mr. blumenthal: thank you, mr. president. today was a stomach-turning, gut-wrenching moment in our history, and truly it was an assault on the heart of our democracy and i want to join in thanking the first responders and police, but i also want to thank others who have been heroes of our democracy unsung in many instances. first all of the election officials, all the poll workers, all of the members of boards of election who actually counted the votes, who went to the polls
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and made sure that votes could be cast and who ultimately stood firm for the integrity of that voting system, i want toking thank the judges -- i want to thank the junction. there are now about 90 of them who, except for one or two who ruled the other way on a technicality, have stood firm for the integrity of that voting system. in those 60 to 70 cases, except for that one ruled on a technicality, they went with the integrity of our voting system and the rule of law. today was, indeed, disgusting and sickening. it was shocking and despicable. it was heartbreaking, but it was not surprising. in fact, today's assault on our democracy, the mob violence, the
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riots, the thugs and goons who were inspired and incited by the president of the united states all were of a piece with these past four years of a president who has no respect for the truth or the rule of law. donald trump's presidency is coming to a close in the very same way it began, with an attack on our democracy. in 2016, the trump campaign welcomed hostile, foreign interference with our election, and the president refused to acknowledge that he would accept the results of the election if he lost. and then again and again and again he demonstrated his contempt for the rule of law and for the laws themselves.
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he obstructed justice and he would have been charged with it had he not been the president of the united states. he invited a foreign government to interfere in our elections and find dirt on his political opponent. and most disturbingly these actions by a president who demonstrated that contempt for the rule of law were met with silence from many political leaders, our colleagues here in the senate among them, silence in the face of that contempt for the rule of law and disrespect for the law enforcers. so we could have seen today coming. in fact, we did. i warned about it, others did
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because the fantasies and falsehoods that drove those rioters, not protesters, the mob who assaulted the temple of democracy, were fueled by the president's misstatements and lies and contempt for the truth. and he was enabled. he had enablers. so today we are stopping in one instance that enabling. but we must also make sure to stop it going forward and the political stunt that brought us here today offers who great solace that it will. these stunts have consequences.
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we say words have consequences and the actions today will have significant consequences. they are an attack on our democracy that undermines the core tenets of our american government and a disrespect for the will of the people and a peaceful transition of power and the political stubts themselves -- stunts themselves driven by opportunism blaze a path that can be followed by more competent challenges, just as the democratic to offerral in -- dictatorial instincts and actions of this president can be followed by more effective and would-be tyrants intent on destroying our republic. yes, we have more important tasks that we should be
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addressing as well, the pandemic, the economic revival, but today we must be mindful of the threat to our democracy that we face down and we come together on a bipartisan basis, but silence is never excusable in the face of lawlessness at the very top of our political structure. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from delaware's recognized. mr. coons: mr. president, i have a question for all of my colleagues this evening, which is what happened here today? and how is it different from what we expected as we assembled in this chamber early this afternoon? much -- sadly, much like the impeachment trial of just a year ago, i think as many of us slogged our way to the nation's capitol and dutifully filed into
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this chamber, we expected hours and hours of debate and discussion knowing the outcome, knowing that what was being engaged in by a handful of our colleagues was a political stunt, feeding the ego of our president who is chasing conspiracy theories about how he actually won the election two months ago that he lost and indulging his belief that somehow -- somehow the congress could still at the last moment snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. even in the last day president trump had been haranguing his own incredibly loyal vice president mike pence as if somehow mike pence would simply declare him president today. we knew that president trump had been stirring up the spirits of thousands, urging them to come to washington. we had an inkling that he might go out and speak to them, but i
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don't think as we filed into this chamber any of us, any of us expected that for the second time in our republic's history the perimeter of this capitol would be breached, members of the senate would be rushed to safety, that not just the capitol police but u.s. marshals and f.b.i. officers and fully combat-geared soldiers would be in the united states capitol taking it back from a riotous mob of thugs. just a few moments ago i went to the rotunda to see the litter and the trash, the residue and the remnants of those who took over this building today and to say thank you to the men and women of law enforcement who helped secure it after it fell to an angry mob. but, folks, we have to think about the consequences of what happened here today, why this happened and what it means and what it teaches. because, frankly, tonight,
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now the whole world is watching. the entire world is watching a montage of scenes, of folks calf -- cavorting in the capitol, half-naked men taking that seat scrawling on surfaces, paradeing with a trump flag and in other ways signaling that they had done something significant. no, in fact, what they've actually done is weakened our democracy, showed some of its fragility and encouraged our opponents around the world. in the last two months since the election, we have one man who has abandoned his post, who has mostly spent his time golfing and tweeting and indulging himself in conspiracy theories and been less and less attuned to our national security and to a raging pandemic. and another man, our
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president-elect, who is preparing to take over the responsibility for leading this country out of this pandemic and out of its current state of deep, deep division. president trump has abandoned his post. he does not deserve to be president any longer, and he poses a real and present threat to the future of our democracy. but let me also say this to my colleagues, half of whom changed their intended vote today after seeing what happened in the capitol. there were, as we began, roughly 13 senators, republicans, who said they were going to vote against the certification of the election. and when we actually finally called the roll, it was just six, seven of them having been chastened by the events of today. but two who continue on this quest clerked for the supreme court chief justice, are deeply schooled in the law, know
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better than what they did today. and in a count, in a debate going on in the house, even now more than 100 house republicans continue with this effort. on this floor earlier today, this evening, there were strong and clear and brave speeches by republicans and democrats alike. so i have a question as we move forward -- when will this fever break? when will we finally say to each other enough is enough, of indulging and following populism and demagoguery? is it time to finally show who the leaders are and to uphold our constitution, that every one of the house members and a third of us swore to uphold just three days ago? i will tell you as i look ahead that i am confident that two weeks from now joseph biden will be sworn in as the next president, kamala harris sworn in as the next vice president, and we have a unique moment in
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my lifetime. because as presidents and leaders in the senate of both parties over the last decades have observed, the senate has steadily shrunk in its significance, role and power and the presidency has steadily grown. not in my lifetime, not since l.b.j. have we had an incoming president who spent 36 years in this chamber. we have a chance with joe biden, a president-elect who ran on bringing our country together, a president-elect who ran on turning the page from our moment of national division, a president-elect who respects, honors and understands the significance of this body. so we have to take this opportunity to heal, to hear each other, to compromise, to work together, and to see the real challenges facing the american people and take this last best moment. what happened here today should
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leave all of us gravely concerned about the health and the future of our democracy and the opportunity we will have two weeks from today is one we should not let pass us by. thank you, mr. president. with that, i yield the floor. ms. warren: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts is recognized. ms. warren: mr. president, more than 35,000 of our loved ones -- 350,000 ones of loved ones died from a terrible disease, small businesses have gone under never to reopen, millions have lost their jobs and too many families don't know how they're going to pay the rent or put groceries on the table. it is tough out there, but americans are fighters. and despite all the challenges, in november they did what americans do when they are unhappy with their leadership. they voted for change. they turned their backs on a sitting president who fans the flames of hatred while bodies pile up in the morgue.
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instead they elected a new president who wants to save lives, to save our economy, and to save our democracy. even as the pandemic raged, americans showed up for democracy. states worked overtime to set up safe systems. ballot drop boxes and early voting and gallons of hand sanitizer. voters mailed their ballots earlier, put on masks and stood in lines at the polls. the election of 2020 shattered voting records. so here we are on the floor of the united states senate in the aftermath of an historic election held in the middle of a pandemic. people are suffering, and we should be working to get them the help they need. instead we are here because donald trump wants to overturn the results of that election.
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the republicans objecting to the results of this election will be judged by history, but the rest of us will be judged as well. it is our responsibility to stand up for our democracy even while other senators work to undermine it. losing is hard. i ran for president myself. it was a hard-fought primary. but joe biden won and i lost. i am not the only one to live through that. a number of senators in this room have run for president. none of us was successful. and when we lost, we conceded and we got out of the race, because that is how democracy works. none of us lied about the results. we didn't throw temper tantrums. we didn't tell our allies in congress or the states to
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overturn the results. we didn't feed poisonous propaganda to our supporters. we didn't urge people to march on state capitols or to descend on washington. we accepted the will of the voters. and it's not just us. it's everyone who has run for president since the beginning of america. only once -- once -- in america's history have the people who lost tried to burn down our democracy on the way out. they caused a civil war that nearly destroyed our nation. make no mistake, the violence we witnessed in this chamber today was the direct result of the poisonous lies that donald trump repeated again and again for more than two months. his words have consequences.
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our democracy has been grievously injured by this lying coward. this effort to subvert our democracy is not nearly one last presidential tantrum. this effort is designed to knock out the basic pillar on which democracy is founded. the idea that the voters, not the sitting president and not the members of congress, but the voters decide who will lead this nation. a democracy in which the elected leaders do not bend to the will of the voters is no democracy. it is a totalitarian state. and those who pursue this effort are supporting a coup. i urge my colleagues to vote no on this effort to overthrow our democracy. i yield, mr. president.
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the presiding officer: the senator from alaska is recognized. ms. murkowski: i ask that the senate stand in recess subject to the call of the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. recess: right here providing over the providing states capitol. capital. thanks to the swift efforts of u.s. capitol police, federal,
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state and local law enforcement, the violence stopped. the capital is secured and the people's work continues. we condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms. we grieve the loss of life in these hallowed halls as well as the injuries suffered by those who defended our capital today. and we will always be grateful, the men and women that stayed at their posts, to defend this historic place. to those who wreaked havoc in the capital today, you did not win. violence never wins. freedom wins, and this is still the people's house.
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and as we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy. for even in the wake of unprecedented violence and vandalism at this capital, the elected representatives of the people of the united states have assembled again, on the very same day to support and defend the constitution of the united states. so may god bless the loss, the injured and the heroes of this day. may god bless all who serve here and those who protect this place, and may god bless the united statesca of america. let's get back to work. [applause]
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>> mr. president. i asked b the majority leader ad democratic leader may be allowed to speak and the time not count against the two hours of debate in relation to the objection raised on the state of arizona. >> is there objection? >> without objection, so ordered. >> i want to say to the american people the united states senate will not be intimidated. we will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs or threats. we will not bow to lawlessness
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your intimidation. we are back at the post and we will discharge our duty under the constitution and for the nation. and we are going to do it tonight. this afternoon, congress began the process of honoring the will of the american people in counting the electoral college votes. we fulfill this solemn duty every four years for more than two centuries, whether the nation has been at war or peace, under all manner of threats even during an ongoing armed rebellion in the civil war, the clockwork of our democracy has carried on. ..s
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>> and determined the deceiver nation. the peaceful expression of the popular well. reassembled this afternoon to
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count the citizens those votes and formalize their choice of the next president. nobody will finish exactly what we start. we would complete the process the right way by a vote by the laws had by the constitution to the letter. and we will certify the winner of the 2020 presidential election. criminal behavior will never dominate the united states congress. this institution is resilient the democratic republicepub a stron strong, the american people deserve nothing it less.
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>> mr. president it is very very difficult to put into words what has transpired today never live through even imagine the experience we have just witnessed in the capital. president roosevelt set aside dh 1941 a day that will live in infamy. unfortunatelyow, now we can add january 6, 2021 to the very short list of dates in american history will live forever in infamy. temple to democracy was desecrated for the windows smashed in offices vandalized the world saw americans elected officials ushered out because they were in harm's way.
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places her shelter until the evacuation was ordered lawmakers who love their country every day i understand one woman was shot and tragically lost her life. we mourn her and feel for friends and family. these images were projected to the world foreign embassies cable at home to report the harrowing scenes at the heart of our democracy. not so easily washed away but the final terrible indelible legacy ofd the 44th president of the united states.
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those that have those reprehensible acts cannot be called a protest. no. these were insurrectionist that domestic terrorist. they do not represent america. a few thousand violent extremist tried to take over the capital building and take over our democracy. they must and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. hopefully by this administration, if not by the next. they should be provided no leniency. a want to thank the capitol hill police and secret service that have kept us safe today and work to clear the capital returning it to its rightful
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people house and senate democrat and republican speaker proceed and leader mcconnell andel myself came together and decided that they would not succeed to finish work better constitution requires us to complete.n in the very legislative chambers of the house and senate that were desecrated what we know always belong to the people. make no mistake these do not happen spontaneously. the president promoted conspiracy theories that motivated these thugs those to come to the nation's capital to egg themth on hardly ever discourages violence and more often encourages it this
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president bears a great deal of the claim. as president trumps doing excited by his words and his lies and his responsibility and his everlasting shame. today's events certainly would not have happened without them. january 6th will go down as one of the darkest days and weeks in american history a warning to our nation about the consequences of the demagogue it doesn't those who enable him and the media that parrots his lies and the people that follow him as he pushed america to the brink of ruin.
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as we reconvene tonight, let us remember, it in the end all this mom has accomplished on - - all the mob has accomplished is still a work by a few hours now will finish the task tonight the house and senate chambers will be ready to start legislating in short order counting of the electoral votes is the secret duty democracies roots are deep and strong and will not be undone, ever by a group of thugs. democracy will triumph as it has for centuries. so to my fellow americans who are shocked and appalled by the images on the television who toda today, and worried about
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the future of this country, let me speak to you directly. the divisions in our country clearly run deep we are resilient, bold looking and optimistic people, we will begin the hard work tonight because here in america we always overcome our challenges. i yield the floor. >> section 17 title iii united states code the two houses withdraw from the joint session to count the electoral votes for separate consideration of the objection the senator may speak to the objection for five minutes and not more than once. debate shall not exceed two hours after which the chair with the question of the objection to be


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