Multiple Senate Republicans unloaded on an effort led by Sen. Josh Hawley to challenge Joe Biden’s election victory as the party hurtles toward its most consequential confrontation with Donald Trump of his entire presidency.
Hawley (R-Mo.) denied that he was trying to overturn the election by challenging the certification of at least one state and forcing the Senate into an up-or-down vote on Biden’s wins. He said he was merely trying to voicehis frustration with the election results, arguing this is his one chance “to stand and be heard.”
But some of his colleagues are thoroughly unimpressed.
“I think it’s awful. I am going to support my oath to the Constitution. That’s the loyalty test here,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) called Hawley’s move “disappointing and destructive. And borrowing from Ben Sasse it’s ambition pointing a gun at the head of democracy.” Sasse (R-Neb.) said this week that “adults don’t point a loaded gun at the heart of legitimate self-government.”
“I’m going to vote to certify the election,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) of Hawley’s effort. “I don’t think it’s a good idea and I don’t understand his reasoning.”
Already it’s become clear the effort will fail given the public opposition from those senators and others like Sens. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who flatly said “no” Friday when asked if he would join Hawley. A simple majority is enough to certify Biden’s win, and there are 48 Senate Democrats….
Still, not everyone is dismissing the challenge to Biden’s certification. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said earlier this week he supports Hawley’s effort.
And Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) both said they were still weighing their options. Blackburn argued that “people are quite concerned about voter fraud and transparency” and Braun said he’s “still thinking about what to do.”
“It’s a protest vote only. Because in my opinion there’s zero chance that anything will come from it. The House is not going to overturn and I don’t think you’ll even get close in the Senate,” Braun argued.