The rules of Congress’ Jan. 6 session governing the counting of Electoral College votes will remain identical to those used for decades, under a resolution adopted Sunday by the House and Senate.
The rules, first obtained by POLITICO, were passed on voice votes in both chambers, in keeping with recent history in which they’ve been uncontroversial afterthoughts in the process of finalizing the results of presidential elections.
As dozens of Republicans in the House and Senate threaten to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory — citing baseless claims of widespread fraud and irregularities — the rules have taken on new prominence, but none of those Republicans sought to block the adoption of the rules, even though some had supported an effort to block them in court.
The rules were introduced amid the first indications of GOP pushback to the election challenges inside the House, where dozens of Republicans are embracing President Donald Trump’s push to object to the election’s certification.
A group of seven House Republicans — including Freedom Caucus members such as Ken Buck (Colo.) and Chip Roy (Texas) as well as Rep.-elect Nancy Mace (S.C.) and libertarian Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) — put out a rare and lengthy statement Sunday afternoon opposing the effort to challenge the election. The statement was also signed by Reps. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Tom McClintock (R-Calif.).
They argue that the constitution makes clear that states — not Congress — are responsible for selecting electors, though they said they “are outraged at the significant abuses in our election system.”
“We must respect the states’ authority here,” the lawmakers wrote in their statement, obtained by POLITICO. “Though doing so may frustrate our immediate political objectives, we have sworn an oath to promote the Constitution above our policy goals. We must count the electoral votes submitted by the states.”
See also this Liz Cheney memo.