i want to read an excerpt here. i believe, you know, we've got our legal beagles with us, nate personally and robert cy here. i want to read he's trying to outline what he believes his powers are today. and in many ways i want to read a little bit here from it, and he says after careful study of our constitution and our laws, you know, he doesn't fully agree with the sort of conventional wisdom view of his role today. he says besting the vice president with unilateral authority to decide presidential contest would be entirely antithetical to that design. i do not believe that the founders of our country intended to invest the vice president with unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted during the session of congress and no vice president in american history has asserted such authority. instead vice presidents presiding over joint sessions have uniformly followed the
electoral college act conducting proceedings in an orderly manner. he said it's my considered judgment my oath to defend the constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not. nate and robert, it is in some ways he's trying to appease -- the letter itself is trying to appease there's no doubt the president here. but it does sound like he's aware of what his constitutional authority is. >> yeah, i think this was a response to president trump's tweet. i mean, it's sort of a rebuttal. he could have said this a week ago, but i think he's done it at thealist last minute for good reason. i think it's a significant point for him to make. this is not something he had to say, even though it's obviously correct. and so what follows from that who knows. we'll see whether he exercises other kinds of authority dealing
with objections and the like. but the fact he's at least said, look, my role is limited and it's not what you're going to read on twitter i think is significant. >> robert, he does say this, though, as a presiding officer i will ensure that any objections that are sponsored by both a representative and a senator are given proper consideration and that all facts supporting those objections are brought before the congress and the american people. those who suggest that raising objections under the electoral count -- that democrats raised objections in congress each of the last three times that a republican candidate for president prevailed. robert, a fair interpretation of that there by him do you believe? >> i think i agree with nate this is all very good news in advance of what we're going to be seeing. he clearly has rejected the most extreme interpretation that's been offered by this gohmert,
cruz, hawley caucus. that's why i think we're not going to see him exercise any kind of independent judgment and i think that's excellent news. and i think the rest of it is just him recognizing that there's an orderly process that has been outlined both in the constitution and in the federal law that was passed after the sort of debacle of the haze, tilden contested election of 1876. so i think all of this is excellent news, and unlikely hopefully to result in what the framers really feared, which is a process by which cabal, intrigue and corruption led to the -- >> we just talked earlier is mike pence political going to have much of a political career after today inside the republican party. he's going to get praised in
"the wall street journal" editorial page, national review, i don't want to put words in your mouth. very much the constitution wing of the republican party, what remains of that will praise him. does it save him? >> now it's going to be very awkward for him in the trump wing of the party and he may have no home, but that letter is absolutely correct. >> let's listen in. >> -- each have 11 members allowed to be present on the floor. others may be in the gallery. this is at the guidance of officiating attending physician and the sergeants at arms. the gentleman on the republican side of the aisle will please observe the social distancing and agree to what we have 11 members on each side.
responsibilities to this chamber, to this responsibility and to this house of representatives. please exit the floor if you do not have an assigned role from your leadership. you can chair with your staff if you want to have a few more, but you cannot be packed together on the floor of the house with that many people in here. and i thank the senate. let's go let's just start. >> madam speaker, members of congress pursuant to the constitution and the laws of the
united states the senate and in-house of representatives are meeting in joint session to verify the certifies and count the votes of the electors of the several states for president and vice president of the united states. after ascertainment has been had and the certifies are authentic in corrected form, the tellers will count and make a list of the votes cast by the electors of the several states. the tellers on the part of the two houses have taken their places at the clerk's desk. without objection the tellers will dispense with the reading of the formal portions of of the certifies. after ascertaining that the certifies are regular in form and authentic, the tellers will announce the votes cast by the electors for each state beginning with alabama, which the parliamentarians advise me is the only certify of vote from that state and purports to be a return from the state. and that has annexed to it a
certify from the authority of that state recording to a point or ascertain electors. >> mr. vice president, point of order. >> for what purpose -- >> in order to follow with the speakers instructions that only a limited number of people be on the floor may i ask how one would make an objection or a parliamentary inquiry in the future if you're not on the floor but in the gallery? >> debate is not permitted in the joint session. >> i'm not attempting to debate. i'm trying to find out how a
parliamentary inquiry or point of order would be made in following with the speakers request that most of us not be on the floor. how do you make one of those points of order when you don't know what's going to happen later? >> respectfully. >> yes, sir? >> the gentleman's parliamentary inquiry constitutes debate which is not permitted in the joint session section 18, title 3 of the united states code. >> mr. president?
>> do you think this is on? >> it's not on. >> try it one more time. >> mr. president. >> order in the chamber. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote in the state of alabama seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears there from that donald j. trump from the state of florida receive 9
votes for president and michael r. pence of the state of indiana receive 9 votes for vice president. >> are there any objections to counting the certificate of vote of the state of alabama that the teller has verified appears to be regular in form and authentic? hearing none. this certificate from alaska, the parliamentarians advise me is the only certificate of vote from that state that purports to be a return from the state and has annexed to it a certificate from the authority of the state reporting to a point and ascertain electors. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of alaska seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears therefrom that donald j. trump of the state of florida receive three votes for president.
and michael r. pence, the state of indiana, receive three votes for vice president. >> are there any objection to counting the certificate of vote of the state of alaska that the teller has verified appears to be regular in form and authentic? hearing none. this certificate from arizona the parliamentarians advise me is the only certificate of vote that the state purports to be a return from the state and has annexed to it a certificate from an authority of that state reporting to a point or ascertain electors. >> mr. president, the certificate of the electoral vote of the state of arizona
seems to be regular in form and authentic. and it appears therefrom that joseph r. biden, jr. of the state of delaware received 11 votes for president. and kamala d. harris of the state of california received 11 votes for vice president. >> are there any objections to counting the certificate of vote of the state of arizona that the teller has verified aperiods to be regular in form and authentic? >> mr. vice president -- >> what purpose does the gentleman for arizona write? >> i write for both myself and 50 of my colleagues to object to the counting of the electoral ballots from arizona. >> is the objection in writing and signed by a senator? >> yes, it is. >> it is. [ applause ]
>> an objection presented in writing and signed by both a representative and a senator complies with the law. chapter 1 of title 3 of the united states code. the clerk will report the objection. >> objection to counting the electoral votes of the state of arizona. we, a member of the house of representatives, and a united states senator, object to the counting of the electoral votes of the state of arizona on the
grounds that they were not under all of the known circumstances regularly given. >> are there further objections to the certificates from the state of arizona? the chair hears none. the two houses will withdraw from joint session. each house will deliberate separately on the pending objection and report its decision back to the joint session. the senate will now retire to its chamber. >> well, there you have it. as expected when arizona came up and really basically just a couple minutes into this ceremony andrea mitchell and katy tur is with me now as well -- it has gone a bit pro forma, i think the most uncomfortable thing is to see people in that chamber giving a standing ovation to essentially
thwarting democracy here. just to be honest that say an awkward moment to see a standing ovation for questioning the democracy, but that is where we are politically today. but here we go. >> and there are more than 140 actually house members who are part of that group. and now we have 16 senators now joining as well as of today or who say they will join. so that is the group in the standing ovation. it is remarkable to see this happening. and because of covid concerns also these votes are going to take a long time as this goes forward. >> right. >> but just what we expect, but what is so important to remember is that it won't result in any change in the outcome and that the vice president of the united states has withstood the pressure from the president and said he will follow precedent here. >> the most interesting thing ware going to see, katy tur, is
a debate on the senate floor and mitch mcconnell is going to speak first. we have an idea of what he's going to say. he's going to i think make an impassioned plea to essentially stop the madness, if you will, in some way without trying to do it in a way that doesn't totally alienate the trump wing of the party here. but the debate on the senate floor is in some ways i think going to be a debate about the direction of the republican party. >> absolutely. and i'm still struck by this and i will continue to be struck by this. mitch mcconnell has had such a tight control over the republican party for as long as he's been majority leader. people have not stepped out of line in general against mitch mcconnell. i know there were some issues of ted cruz when ted cruz didn't agree with him on legislation during the obama years. but for the most part mitch mcconnell has kept his members in line, and this is a real moment where his members are not listening to him.
and to have him say this is a vote of your conscience, this is going to be a really important vote and still have members object i think is really remarkable and goes to show you where he currently stands within his own republican party. is the republican party mitch mcconnell's? no, it is donald trump's right now. that's where the base is. and just as we were watching this, donald trump by the way is still outside speaking to that rally. and he said repeatedly, chuck, he's going to march down to the capitol. i don't know what that means. i know he has floor privileges as claire was saying a moment ago, but let's see if he actually decides to do it. >> we do think, by the way, since you started talking, katey, that president trump finally finished there. garret haake, i gave a quickie preview of mitch mcconnell. give a more thorough one because it's going to be the first big speech we're going to hear in a few minutes. >> yeah, so mcconnell will open the senate floor with his
remarks and while he's been pretty clear up until this point he doesn't support the action to object to the electoral college count, i don't know we're going to see him take the members who have decided to go that route to task. i think what we're going to hear is him stating firmly his objections to doing so and trying to lay the groundwork here and control this debate a little bit. the thing to understand about mcconnell as katey, alluded to, he spends enormous effort and energy to try to prevent moments like this from happening. he goes to great efforts to prevent votes that might divide republicans, and this is as divisive as it gets. he's also got four new members, brand new republican senators who said they'll stand up to be counted with those objecting to the count here, and he's got to look out for them. he's got to look out for these 2022 folks are up. so i wouldn't expect mcconnell to go after the folks objecting to the count, but i expect him
to voice his displeasure in very certain terms. >> we've also seen the way president trump has tweeted threatening primaries against senator thune, one of the loyal members of the senate caucus just for objecting to the objectors and also threatening to primary of course senator pat toomey from pennsylvania who's not running for re-election. so he is tweeting threats -- he's gone after every single one of them. and now of course against his own vice president which is pretty remarkable. it's striking to me the disloyalty they showed to one of their own, jeff sessions, early on in this presidency to a cabinet member who was the first member of congress of the house or senate to endorse him back in 2015. all of that has somehow not persuaded them to not follow in lock step behind this president. no, this isn't terribly
surprising. i remember interviewing lindsey graham in 2017 during the health care debate. you remember after donald trump supported the house to overturn obamacare and then went out the next day and said it was mean and essentially withheld his support? and graham told me then, look, if you're expect long-term political cover from this president you're looking in the wrong spot. i think republicans to a certain degree knew what they were getting themselves into but to their peril they have no off-ramp here. they have entertained the president's whims for so long, and only now you're starting to see him break away from them. you see tom tillis he said he won't support the objection -- listen to nancy pelosi as she takes the floor. >> thank you, garret. let's listen to the speaker. >> members advise to remain in chamber only if they are participating in debate and must wear a mask at all times even when under recognition for debate. members must also practice
proper social distancing when present in the chamber. let the record show that there's a gross violation of this guidance from this attendant on the republican side of the aisle. please in the interest of your own health and as an example to the american people abide by the numbers now up to 25 on each side of the aisle to participate in this stage of the development, okay? pursuant to senate concurrent resolution 1 -- pursuant to senate concurrent resolution 1 and section 17 of title 3 of the united states code when the two houses withdraw from the joint session to count the electoral vote for separate consideration of an objection, a representative may speak to the
objection for five minutes and not more than one. debate shall not exceed 2 hours. after which the chair will put in question shall the objection be agreed to? the court will report the objection made in the joint session. >> objection to counting the electoral votes of the state of arizona. we a member of the house of representatives and a united states senator object to the counting of the electoral votes of the state of arizona on the ground that they were not under all of the known circumstances regularly given. signed paul gosar, representative of the state of arizona, ted cruz, senator, state of texas. >> thank you. the chair will endeavor to alternate recognition between members seeking support of the objection and members seeking opposition to the objection. the chair recognizes the
gentleman from louisiana mr. scalise for 5 minutes. >> thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to object to a number of states that did not follow the constitutional requirement for selecting electors. madam speaker, this is something that is clear our founding fathers debated about as a fundamental decision of how we choose our president. there was a lot of back and forth if anyone reads the founding documents of our country about the different versions they went through to ultimately come up with a process where each state has elections, each state has a process for selecting their electors and sending them to washington. and madam speaker, in a number of those states that constitutional process was not followed. and that's why we're here to object. if you look at what the requirement says, nowhere in article 2, section 1, does it give the secretary of state of a
state that ability. nowhere does it give a governor that ability. nowhere does it give a court that ability. it exclusively gives that ability to the legislators. and in fact in most states that's the process that was followed. but for those states that this wasn't followed, unfortunately, this was not new. we've seen over and over again more states where the democrat party has gone in and selectively gone around this process. that has to end, madam speaker. we have to follow the constitutional process. [ applause ] there might be reasons why some people don't like the process laid out by a ledgislative body. madam speaker, i served on one of those legislative bodies. when i was in the state led legislature for 12 years. and i can tell you when we had
to make changes, those were extensively negotiated. we would have people on both sides come, republicans and democrats, madam speaker, would get together to work through those changes, any minute change to how a precinct would function, to how a change would be made in the time of an election, signature requirements, all the many things that involve a clerk carrying out the duties in each parish in our case. you would see people come and give testimony, madam speaker. both sides could come. clerks of court were there in the hearing rooms. it was an open process, by the way. not behind closed doors in a smoke-filled room where somebody might want to bully a secretary of state to get a different version that might benefit them or their party or their candidate. that's not what our founding fathers said is the process. maybe it's how some people wanted to carry it out, but they laid out that process. and so when we would have to
make those changes, they were in public view. they were heavily debated. and then ultimately those laws were changed in advance of the election so everybody knew what the rules were. people on both sides knew how to play the rules before the game started. not getting somewhere in the process and saying, well, you don't think it's going to benefit you so you try to go around the constitution. that's not how our system works. it's gotten out of hand. and so president trump has called this out. president trump has stood up to it, so many of us have stood up to it. and in fact, over 100 of my colleagues, madam speaker, asked the supreme court to address this problem just a few weeks ago and unfortunately the court chose to punt. they didn't answer one way or the other. they didn't want to get in the middle of this discussion. we don't have that luxury today. we have to discuss this. we have to fix this. in fact, on our first full day
of this congress many of us brought legislation onto the house floor to start fixing the problems with our elections, to restore integrity to the election process which has been lost by so many millions of americans. and we had a vote. every single republican voted to reform the process. every single democrat voted against it. they don't want to fix this problem. but the constitution is our guide. and it's time we start following the constitution. it's time we get back to what our founding fathers. and follow the constitution, madam speaker. and i yield back the balance of my time. >> gentlemen's time has expired.
for what purpose does the -- [ applause ] >> for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? without objection gentlewoman is recognized. >> madam speaker, this day marks a crossroads for american democracy. those who object to the counting of the electoral college votes which reflect the votes of the american people want to substitute their preferences for the voters choice. that's not what our constitution requires and it's at odds with american democratic republic. if congress selects the next president instead of american voters we'll have no need for an electoral college. in fact, we'd have no need for presidential elections at all.
we'd be moving from a government elected by the people to a government selected by those already governing. we abide by the choices oof the people not an elite few. instead they wrote article 2 and the 12th amendment. article 2 creates the electoral college where each state appoints electors. all laws of all 50 states and december require electors to vote for the winner of the states popular election. each state provides for the orderly conduct of election including lawful challenges, recounts and the like. the 12th amendment is what brings us to today. it says the electors meet in their states, that happened december 14th. the amendment says electors shall cast their votes, certify them, transmit them to a seal. that's been done. the sealed envelopes containing the signed certified ballots of each state's electors reflecting the votes of the people were in
those mahogany boxes. the 12th amendment directs the vice president of the senate to do only this, open the sealed envelopes and then the votes shall be counted, simple. it doesn't say counted in a manner that some members of congress and the vice president might prefer, no. the votes are simply to be counted as certified and transmitted by the states. during the reconstruction after the civil war more than one slate of electors were appointed by states. dueling lists were sent and protract protracted processes were undertaken in presidential election. and as a result congress enacted the electoral count act of 1887. this law governs our proceedings today. the act provides dispute resolution mechanisms. if the governor certifies a slate of elections the governor's certified slate must be counted. today every single slate of electors won by joe biden or won
by donald trump got their governor's certification. not a single state submitted a competing -- >> we don't mean to interrupt here but mitch mcconnell has start today speak. we'll let you know anymore happening from the house. >> is there objection? without objection so ordered. >> mr. president. >> majority leader. >> we're debating a step that has never been taken in american history, whether congress should overrule the voters and overturn a presidential election. i've served 36 years in the senate. this will be the most important vote i've ever cast.
president trump claims the election was stolen. the assertions range from specific local allegations to constitutional arguments to sweepi sweeping conspiracy theories. i've supported the president's right to use the legal system, dozens of lawsuits, perceived hearings in courtrooms all across our country. but over and over the courts rejected these claims including all-star judges whom the president himself has nominated. every election we know features some illegality and irr
irregularity, and of course that's unacceptable. i support strong, state led voting reforms. last year's bizarre pandemic procedures must not become the new norm. but my colleagues, nothing before us proves illegally anywhere near the massive scale -- the massive scale that would have tipped the entire election. nor can public doubt alone justify a radical break when the doubt itself was incited without any evidence. the constitution gives us here in congress a limited role. we cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids.
the voters, the courts and the states have all spoken. they've all spoken. if we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever. this election actually was not unusually close. just in recent history, 1976, 2000, and 2004 were all closer than this one. the electoral college margin is almost identical to what it was
in 2016. if this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. we'd never see the whole nation accept an election again. every four years would be a scramble for power at any cost. the electoral college, which most of us on this side have been defending for years, would cease to exist. leaving many of our states with no real say at all in choosing a president. the effects would go even beyond the elections themselves.
self-government, my colleagues, requires a shared commitment to the truth. and a shared respect for the ground rules of our system. we cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes with a separate set of facts and separate realities. with nothing in common except our hostility towards each other and mistrust for the few national institutions that we all still share. every time -- every time in the last 30 years that democrats have lost a presidential race they've tried to challenge just like this. after 2000 after 2004, after
2016. after 2004 a senator joined and forced the same debate, and believe it or not democrats like harry reid, tick durbin and hillary clinton praised them and applauded the stunt. republicans condemned those baseless efforts back then, and we just spent four years condemning democrats shameful attempts of the solidity of president trump's own election. so, look, there can be no double standard. the media that is outraged today spent four years aiding and abetting democrats' attacks on our institutions after they lost. but we must not imitate and escalate what we repudiate. our duty is to govern for the
public good. the united states senate has a higher calling than an endless spiral of partisan vengeance. congress will either override the voters, overrule them, the voters, the states and the courts for the first time ever or honor the peoples' decision. we'll either guarantee democrats delegitimizing efforts after 2016 become a permanent new routine for both sides or declare that our nation deserves a lot better than this. we'll either hasten down a poisonous path where only the winners of an election actually accept the results or show we can still muster the patriotic courage that our forebearers
showed not only in victory but in defeat. the framers built the senate to stop short-term passions from boiling over and melting the foundations of our republic. so i believe protecting our constitutional order requires respecting the limits of our own power. it would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise american voters and overrule the courts and the states on this extraordinarily thin basis. and i will not pretend such a vote would be a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing. i will vote to respect the
peoples' decision and defend our system of government as we know it. >> mr. president, vice president, as prescribed by the constitution and the laws of the nation, the purpose of this joint session is for tellers appointed on a bipartisan basis by the two houses to lead to the congress the results of an election that has already happened. we are here to receive an announcement of a vote that has already been certify bide every state in the union and confirmed by the courts many times -- many times over. we are here to watch the current
vice president open envelopes and receive the news of a verdict that has already been rendered. it is a solemn occasion no doubt, but it is a formality. the congress does not determine the outcome of elections. the people do. the congress is not endowed with the power to administer elections. our states are given that power. by the end of the proceedings today it will be confirmed once again something that is well-known and well-settled, the american people elected joe biden and kamala harris to be the next president and vice president of the united states. and yet a number of our colleagues have organized an effort to undermine and object to that free and fair election. they're in the minority.
they will lose. they know that. they have no evidence of widespread voter fraud upon which to base their objections. that's because there is none. there is none. not brought before any of the courts successfully. they know that president trump and his allies have suffered the defeat in court after court across the country, losing no fewer than 62 legal challenges. and i might add many republican appointed judges, some appointed by president trump rendered those decisions. they know. you all know that joe biden and kamala harris are going to be sworn in as president and vice president of the united states on january 20th. but they are going to object to
the counting of the vote anyway. and in the process they will embarrass themselves, they will embarrass their party, and worst of all they will embarrass their country. this insurrection was fortunately discouraged by the leadership of the majority party but it was not quelled. it is a very sad comment on our times that merely accepting the results of an election is considered an act of political courage. sadder and more dangerous still is the fact that an element of the republican party believes their political viability hinges on the endorsement of an attempted coup, that anyone much less an elected official would
be willing to tarnish our democracy in order to burnish their personal political fortunes. over the course of the afternoon and however far into the evening this band of republican objectors wants to take us, senators of good will from both sides of the aisle will explain why these challenges must be dismissed. the senators from states whose electoral votes are being challenged will explain how the allegations of fraud are baseless. and a substantial bipartisan majority must vote to put down these objections and defend the sanctity of our elections and indeed -- and indeed our great and grand democracy. because that's what we're talking about today, the health of our democracy.
this wonderful, beautiful, grand democracy where the peaceful passing of the torch is extolled by school children in the second grade but not by some here. as we speak half of our voters are being conditioned by the outgoing president to believe that when his party loses an election, the results must not be legitimate. as we speak the eyes of the world are on this chamber questioning whether america is still the shining example of democracy, the shining city on the hills. what message we send today, what message will we send today to our people, to the world that
has so looked up to us for centuries? what message will we send to fledgling democracies, who study our constitutions, mirror in hopes they too can rule by the consent of the governed. what message can we send to those countries where democratic values are under assault and look to us to see if those values are still worth fighting for? what message will we send to every dark corner of the world where human recognizes are betrayed, elections are stolen, human dignity denied? what will we show those people? will we show those people that there's a better way to ensure liberty and opportunity of human kind? sadly, a small band of republican objectors may darken thevule view of our democracy ,
but a larger group of senators and house members from both sides of the aisle can send a message, too. that democracy beats deep in the hearts of our citizens and elected representatives, that we're a country of laws and of not men. that our traditions are not so easily discarded even by our president, that facts matter, that truth matters. that while democracy allows free speech and free expression even if that expression is anti-democratic, there will always, always be -- praise god -- a far broader and stronger coalition ready to push back and defend everything we hold dear. we can send that message today by voting in large and overwhelming number tuesday defeat these objections. my colleagues, we each swore an
oath just three days ago that we would defend and support the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic, that we would bear an allegiance to the same. we swore that we took this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that we could well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office we were about to enter so help us god. the precise words of that oath were shortly written after the civil war when the idea of true faith and allegiance to this country and its constitution took on enormous meaning. let those words -- let those words ring in the ears of every
senator today. let us do our duty to support and defend the constitution of the united states so help us god. >> majority leader? >> i yield up to 5 minutes to the senator from texas. senator cruz. >> mr. president. >> senator. >> we gather together at a amendment of great division, at a moment of great passion. we have seen and no doubt will continue to see a great deal of moralizing from both sides of the aisle. but i would urge to both sides perhaps a bit less servitude and a bit more recognition that we are gathered at a time when democracy is in crisis.
recent polling shows that 39% of americans believe the election that just occurred, quote, was rigged. you may not agree with that but it is a reality for nearly half of the country. i note it is not just republicans that believe that. 31% of independents agree with that statement. 17% of democrats believe the election was rigged. even if you do not share that conviction it is the responsibility, i believe, of this office, that that is a profound threat to the country and the legitimacy of any administrations that come in the future. i want to take a moment to speak to my direemocratic colleagues. i understand that your guy is
winning right now. if democrats vote as a block joe biden will almost certain i will be certified as the next president of the united states. i want to speak to the republicans that are considering voting against these objections. i understand your concerns, but i urge you to pause and think what does it say to nearly half of the country that believes the election was writinged if we vote to not even consider the claims of illegality and fraud. the leaders just spoke about setting aside the election. let me be clear that i'm not arguing for setting asize the result of the election. we're faced with two choices that are lousy. there is a statement that voter fraud doesn't matter, isn't
real, and should be taken seriously. a great many of us don't believe that. on the other hand most of us believe we should not set aside the results of an election because our can day may not have prevailed. so i endeavored to look for a third option. for that i look to history. to the precedent of the 1876 election. the election where this congress, appointed an electoral commission to examine claims of voter fraud. five house members, five senators, five supreme court justices, examined the evidence and rendered a judge. we should appoint an electoral commission. create a committee. you should rest in comfort in f
that is the case a electoral commission would reject those claims. but for those who respect the voters, simply telling the voters to go june in a lake. the fact that you have no concern to us that jeopardized, i believe, the legitimacy of this and subsequent elections. the constitution gives to congress the responsibility this day to count the votes. the framers knew what they were doing when they gave responsibilities to congress. we have a responsibility and i would thaurg we follow the press sent of 1877. the act that allows objections such as this one for votes that were not regularly given. let me be clear this is for the state of arizona, but it is bro broader than that.
having a credible, objective, impartial body to hear the evidence and make a conclusive determination. that would benefit both sides nap would improve legitimacy of this election. so let me urge my colleagues, we all take our responsibility seriously. i urge my colleagues to not take the easy path. but act together. astonish the viewers and act in a bipartisan sense to say that we will have a credible and fair tribunal. and make a conclusive determination whether and to what extent this election complied with the constitution and with federal law.
>> the senator from pinz? >> mr. president, i would first like to say i appreciate you -- >> we continue to watch the debate here, but let's -- we need to, some history was made here, and i think we need to live in this mitch mcconnell speech a little bit and live in this moment. it was quite the speech by mitch mcconnell. the reactions that i'm seeing from various democrats are sort of shock and relief and cheering. things like that. instead of talking about it i want to pull up a couple excerpts. let's play it, i want to get everyone in on this. >> if this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. we would never see the whole nation accept an election again.
every four years would be a scramble for power at any cost. my colleagues, nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale that would have tipped the entire election. nor can public doubt, alone, justify a radical break when the doubt itself was ensicited witht any evidence. we cannot declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids. >> andrea, katy, rich, claire, i thought it was the clearest rebuke of president trump's behavior we have heard from any sitting republican leader.
you heard it from mitt romney, from lindsey graham when he is anti-trump and then he was pro-trump and stopped saying it. but to hear it from mitch mcconnell on the last few days or weeks that he is majority leader, i thought it was a powerful moment, andrea, and it really, if you at all were believing that somehow something would happen here, it was a giant sucking of the wind sound out of the sails of ted cruz. >> yes, and he spoke on how you cannot pretend this is a protest that will just make him feel good and not cause harm. he spoke so powerly about it. you could ask where he has been the whole time, going all of the way back to the first days of the balm presidency, how he controlled the floor, denying merrick garland from even having a hearing.
and then to hear senator cruz talk about citing polls, we don't know which polls, but citing numbers of people that don't believe in the legitimacy of this election, that is because of what trump created. the megaphone, the rallies, the opposition, the weeks and weeks of protest. they created a problem and now to say that to confirm legitimacy on joe biden you have to go through another exercise of constitutionality and facts? >> when he talks about the doubt itself coming from, essentially saying, in a more elegant way. >> the mcconnell speech, and democrats will point to this, does not come in a vacuum in is not mitch mcconnell having the fortitude all along to go up
against trump as others have taken the moments throughout this presidency to do, but this was a very important speech at a very important in a moment. as you said taking the wind out of the sales of ted cruz. when he saidly not pretend such a vote will be a harmless protest gesture. at that moment there was trump supporters, according to video circulating online, storming the steps of the capitol trying to get in, getting pepper sprayed by capitol police. there was a congressional office billing that had to be evacuated because of what is going on. the president at the rally moments ago, showing them march down pennsylvania avenue to the capitol and he went back to the white house. he got this crowd stirred up, they went to the capital, they tried to get in, as mitch mcconnell, who is one of the
most powerful republicans, more powerful than donald trump has been in the last four years, saying this is too far, we have now gone too far, it is a spectacular moment in american history and not a good one. a truly incredible moment that i don't think many people thought they would see even with donald trump. >> claire mccaskill, what did you think of mitch mccom's speech? >> i'm so attorney. he said all of the right things. and it felt like he was -- keep in mind, cruz could not wait to try to catch up. in this political stunt to try to put them ahead in iowa and new hampshire in four