ORLANDO, Fla. — Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on January 20th. However, at least a half dozen Florida Republicans intend to object to the Electoral College results when they meet on Wednesday, January 6th.
Florida Republicans: Matt Gaetz, Kat Cammack, John Rutherford, Brian Mast, Byron Donalds, and Scott Franklin have all said they will object to the certification process of the Electoral College votes. In addition, Congressman Michael Waltz and Bill Posey have also indicated they will do so as well when Congress meets in a joint session on Wednesday, January 6th to count the electoral votes submitted by the states and DC in December.
“At the end of the day, Joe Biden will be the president on January 20th at noon, so nothing is going to happen on the 6th that is going to change that,” notes Paul Rosenzweig, a senior fellow at the R-Street Institute. “In a lot of ways what we’re going to see is just a lot of political theater, a lot of pontification, so they’re just really playing to the crowds, playing to the base.”
Rosenzweig, who served as a senior counsel to Ken Starr during the investigations of President Bill Clinton, points out that while all it takes is a single House Member and a single Senator to force a vote, Republicans do not have the votes in either chamber to override the certified election results. He also notes that each state only submitted one official slate of electors; there is no dispute.
“Even though this is just theater and the result is not going to be in doubt, this is still going to be very destructive and very demeaning to democracy because in the end this is intended to be by law a ministerial act,” says Rosenzweig.
Rejecting the certification of a state’s electors requires a majority in both the House and Senate. In the House, Democrats have the majority and several dozen Republican members have said they oppose rejection. Meanwhile in the Senate, Republicans have just a 51-48 majority due to the run-off in Georgia and have already received opposition to the plan from at least a half dozen Republican Senators.
Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott have not said how they will vote, or if they will vote at all.
While House members have objected several times in previous elections, there has only ever been a vote twice in US history; once in 1877 and again in 2005.
In 2005, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) objected to the results out of Ohio, forcing a vote. The House voted 267-31 against the challenge and the Senate vote was 74 to 1.