The presidential election of 2020 is officially and finally complete. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have won the race, and their elevation to the Presidency and Vice Presidency is legally and constitutionally assured.
At 3:40 am, the Vice President formally declared Biden would be America’s next president in thirteen days in his role as the presiding officer of the Senate.
BREAKING: Vice President Pence announces the 306-232 Electoral College vote count after hours of debate, officially affirming Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the winners of the election https://t.co/wTKxzqAo9U pic.twitter.com/tFW58tANA4
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 7, 2021
VP Mike Pence began the historically infamous day by releasing a reality-based, patriotic letter explaining why he could not carry out President Trump’s conspiracy theory that he could overturn the election.
Donald Trump would retaliate by unleashing domestic terrorist followers’ insurrection against the Capitol to stop the vote counting. Donald Trump knew his complicit Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) could only waste time to delay the vote count, not stop it, so the lame-duck president turned to outright sedition.
Yet, Speaker Pelosi would not quit counting the votes, nor would any Congress member, even the 133 authoritarian House Republicans and eight Senate Republicans who voted against certifying different states’ votes in a futile effort.
Today’s shameful assault on our democracy — anointed at the highest level of government — must not deter us from our responsibility to the Constitution. Tonight, we will move forward with the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 7, 2021
At 8 pm, Congress reconvened in the Capitol, surrounded by security forces enforcing Washington, D.C.’s curfew, and resumed debating Arizona’s certification, which was only the first objection day, signed by Senator Cruz. Right before the start of the session, numerous Republican Senators withdrew their written objections to certifying state results, including recently defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), and Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN).
Trump’s GOP mindless followers in the House planned to challenge as many states as possible at the outset of the session, but something promising happened around 9 pm. Challenges by Representatives to the votes of Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada all failed in rapid succession. Still, around 11:30 pm, Sen. Hawley of Missouri lodged yet another frivolous written objection to Pennsylvania’s election results.
Hawley is a Yale Law School grad and former president of its Federalist Society. Yet, the Republican managed not to utter one word or make any representation of why he believed his objection meant that millions of Pennsylvanians deserved to be disenfranchised. The Senate quickly dispatched his objection, with only six Republicans joining Hawley. Majorities of both houses must uphold an objection to the certification of a state’s electoral votes in Congress, so Hawley’s action was already doomed.
Nevertheless, House Republicans chose to use the entire 2-hour allotment to conduct their pointless “debate,” which was little more than camera time for the Representatives to keep peddling the same factless lies. They then forced a roll call vote on the House Minority’s motion, which was also doomed to fail, which it did.
The Speaker recognized House Majority leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who had given poignant speeches earlier, and he turned to discuss rather mundane housekeeping issues until the Senate filed in to resume the joint session with Vice President Pence presiding.
Members of the House and Senate tellers began reading state vote counts with Rhode Island, dispatching the occasional challenge that did not have a senator’s signature. At 3:34 am, Sen. Roy Blount (R-MO) read the election certificate from the state of Vermont, whose three electoral votes put Joe Biden and Kamala Harris over the top.
Vermont will put President-elect @JoeBiden over the top!!!
Sen. Blunt announced Vermont's 3 electoral votes for #BidenHarris which makes the count 271-224.
It is OVER!
PRESIDENT BIDEN'S ADMINISTRATION STARTS ON JANUARY 20TH. pic.twitter.com/Uv75Wx6qr9
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) January 7, 2021
Without any further senators willing to file a frivolous objection to the remaining states, counting moved along quickly for exactly three minutes until Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) rose to the podium to whine about his dislike of the state of Wisconsin’s votes being counted.
Luckily, the Republican Senator who had sponsored Rep. Gohmert—well known as the “dumbest member of Congress” who just filed and quickly lost a lawsuit against the VP over his narrow duties today—withdrew their written objection. After a two minute rant, Pence shot down the Texas Republican who was already facing censure in the House after calling for violence on Newsmax, a Trump TV propaganda network.
Finally, one of Joe Biden’s closest allies during the 2020 presidential cycle, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), had the honor of reporting the final electoral vote tally to the Vice President.
VP Pence quickly declared Joe Biden the winner and motioned the meeting to close before giving the floor to the Senate Chaplain to say a prayer for this nation and our fragile democracy, ending the session.
It’s official; Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States on January 20th, 2021, at 12:01 pm.
Senator Amy Klobuchar has the honor of reporting the final electoral vote tally for the Presidential election of the US.
"The report is that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the President and Vice President based on the ballots given to us." pic.twitter.com/utqUEZAlzi
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) January 7, 2021
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition.