January 7, 20214:26 PM ET
More than a dozen Republican senators originally said they would object to at least one state’s election results. After the violence that was ensured Wednesday afternoon, that number was reduced by about half. Caroline Amenabar/NPR; Samuel Corum, Mandel Ngan, Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images
Heading into Wednesday’s joint session of Congress to tally the Electoral College vote results, lawmakers anticipated a long day peppered with objections hinged on baseless allegations of election fraud. More than a dozen Republican senators had said they would object to at least one state’s election results.
They began with a debate over a challenge to Arizona’s results. But after pro-Trump extremists brought violence and chaos to the Capitol, both chambers were forced into an emergency recess while the building was locked down.
When lawmakers reconvened hours later, a number of Senate Republicans abandoned their plan to cast objections.
Only six senators, all Republicans, sustained the Arizona objection.
Here’s a look at those six senators who maintained their course.
Josh Hawley, Missouri
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had reportedly urged Republicans not to do so.
After thanking the U.S. Capitol Police for their efforts during the insurrection, Hawley defended his decision to object. Article continues after
“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 raised,” he said.
The purpose of Congress convening is to formally tally the votes of the Electoral College, not litigate election matters. Concerns about state elections were already raised — and rejected — in courts.
Ted Cruz, Texas
Once a primary rival of Trump’s, who even declined to endorse him at the 2016 Republican National Convention, Cruz has since become a staunch defender of Trump’s presidency.
“I want to speak to the Republicans who are considering voting against these objections,” Cruz said Wednesday afternoon during the debate over Arizona’s Electoral College results.
“I urge you to pause and think, what does it say to the nearly half the country that believes this election was rigged if we vote not even to consider the claims of illegality and fraud in this election?”
Public opinion doesn’t dictate who should win an election or if there should be additional investigations into fraud, an allegation that state election officials and Trump’s own Justice Department have vehemently refuted.
Tommy Tuberville, Alabama
Tuberville fulfilled the pledge he made Tuesday, to join Cruz in objecting to the results from Arizona. A retired football coach, Tuberville defeated Jeff Sessions, the former senator, and attorney general, in the GOP primary and went on to win against Democratic incumbent Doug Jones in November.
Roger Marshall, Kansas
A former U.S. representative, Marshall defeated former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the Republican Senate primary earlier this year and went on to win the Senate seat vacated by Pat Roberts. He secured endorsements from prominent Republicans, including McConnell.
John Kennedy, Louisiana
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016, Kennedy has been a frequent defender of Trump.
On Thursday, Kennedy condemned the rioters and reiterated that his plans to raise objections during the proceedings were on behalf of his constituents.
“I came to the Capitol yesterday to give them a voice,” he said in a statement. “I joined several Senate colleagues in calling for a bipartisan commission to inspect election issues raised across the country. Our proposal was not successful, but our goal to ensure full confidence and transparency in our elections — for all Americans — is a noble one, and I’ll keep pursuing it.”
Cindy Hyde-Smith, Mississippi
Hyde-Smith won her runoff election in 2018, becoming the first woman elected to the Senate from Mississippi. She was widely criticized for comments she made that surfaced during the campaign, including one in which she told a supporter, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” She has been an ardent supporter of Trump while in office.
The Senate rejected the Arizona challenge 93-6. The House rejected it 303-121.
Here are the 121 House members who supported the objection:
Here are the 121 representatives who sustained the objection to Arizona’s Electoral College results. Caroline Amenabar/clerk.house.gov
House members also objected in the cases of Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada, but no senator joined in the objection, thereby preventing debate.
The only other state disputed with support from both chambers was Pennsylvania; 138 House members, all Republicans, supported the objection, as did seven senators: Cruz, R-Texas; Hawley, R-Mo.; Hyde-Smith, R-Miss.; Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.; Marshall, R-Kan.; Tuberville, R-Ala.; and Rick Scott, R-Fla.