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How Democrats Plan To Counter GOP Objections To Electoral Counts

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., waves the gavel on the opening day of the 117th Congress on Capitol Hill on Jan. 3. She will preside Wednesday over any House debate and possible Republican objections to electoral vote counts.
Bill Clark
/
AP
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., waves the gavel on the opening day of the 117th Congress on Capitol Hill on Jan. 3. She will preside Wednesday over any House debate and possible Republican objections to electoral vote counts.

Congressional Democrats are planning a counterstrategy in anticipation of Republican efforts to object to the electoral vote counts in as many as six states.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will preside over any House debate and possible objections, and she has tapped four House Democrats to take the lead in responding to any Republican objections.

They include California Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Zoe Lofgren — both of whom previously served as impeachment managers for the House in President Trump's Senate trial — as well as Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, a constitutional law expert, and Colorado Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters that Democrats would also rely on lawmakers from the six states (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) in question. "We have members from each state who are ready to discuss, you know, the status of their state, what happened and what the courts said," he said.

On Tuesday, Hoyer criticized Republicans for backing up Trump's false claims about election fraud and his refusal to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden. "They have cavalierly supported, by their silence or by their active participation, the president's false claim — his, in many ways, seditious claim — that the vote was not fair. It's a tragedy that they have done so," he said.

Pelosi is preparing lawmakers for a floor fight that could carry on into Thursday. An objection to a state's outcome could take three to four hours to debate and dispense with, but Democrats have the election results, the Constitution and House Rules all on their side.

"At the end of the day, which could be the middle of the night, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be officially declared the next President and Vice President of the United States," Pelosi wrote in a letter to Democratic lawmakers.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Susan Davis is a congressional correspondent for NPR and a co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. She has covered Congress, elections, and national politics since 2002 for publications including USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, National Journal and Roll Call. She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss congressional and national politics, and she is a contributor on PBS's Washington Week with Robert Costa. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Philadelphia native.