Monday press release from the office of Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA01) office (emphases with bold and underline are original to the release)….
On January 6th, Congress will convene for a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives to count the electoral votes for President and Vice President of the United States.
I am in full support of objecting to electors in order to debate and examine evidence of election results in states where Constitutional questions have been raised. In fact, in December I joined a majority of my Republican colleagues and Leadership in the House of Representatives in sending an Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court in reference to Texas v. Pennsylvania, et al. relating to the November general election. Like many of my constituents, I have concerns that several states failed to follow the Constitution in conducting elections and deserve scrutiny to ensure a fair and free election.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton along with 18 other states filed suit against the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia arguing that those states made unconstitutional changes to their laws before the 2020 election. Simply put: Article II, Sec. 1, cl. 2 of the U.S. Constitution states that Presidential Electors must be appointed according to rules established by each state’s legislature.
Yet in the months before the 2020 election, the constitutional authority of state legislatures was simply overridden by various governors, state courts, state election officials, and others when state election laws were deliberately changed in certain states without the approval of the states’ legislatures. This raised a Constitutional question, which is why I signed onto the Amicus Brief in Texas v. Pennsylvania, et al.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court chose not to answer these important Constitutional questions, which is why I believe it is imperative that Congress hears the objections to these states; there are questions that must be discussed and debated, and I look forward to having that opportunity on January 6th.
We have seen these debates and objections occur in the past. In 2005, Congressional Democrats challenged the electoral votes of Ohio during the 2004 presidential election; in 2017 Congressional Democrats attempted to challenge President Trump’s electoral college win. On January 6th, Congress will meet to count, review and certify the validity of the electoral votes submitted by each state. If there is an objection to the counting of electoral votes from an individual state made by both a Member of the House of Representative and a Senator, a debate will occur, and at the end of the debate, the House of Representatives and the Senate will separately vote on whether or not to count the votes. In order for electors not to be counted, the objection must receive a simple majority in both the House and the Senate. I look forward to upholding my Constitutional responsibility to protect and defend our system of government by hearing challenges to electoral votes.
As a Member of Congress, I take the oath of office to “… solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God” and I will continue to defend the Constitution and faithfully discharge the duties as your Representative in Washington.
To read a report from the Congressional Research Service on the procedures for objecting to the counting of one or more electoral votes, click here .