“I know there is zero chance of succeeding if you are a member of the surrender caucus,” said Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican of Alabama who is a leader of the effort. “There is some chance of succeeding if you fight.”
Indeed, even as McConnell ultimately congratulated Biden on Tuesday and referred to him as the “President-elect” for the first time, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was silent when asked if he’d acknowledge Biden’s win, while his No. 2, Steve Scalise, has yet to publicly accept the results himself.
The conservative effort to attempt to overturn states’ election results is doomed to fail. But it could put Republicans in a bind.
“I think there’s going to be an objection,” Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, said Wednesday. “Whether there’ll be a senator to support that or not, I don’t know.”
Jordan added: “What’s wrong with having a debate on the floor of the House and on the floor of the Senate about an election that more than a third of the electorate thinks was stolen?”
It’s not clear if any Senate Republicans will join their House colleagues to lodge an objection that would spark a formal debate and ultimately a vote, though several have entertained Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who held a hearing on Wednesday questioning the handling of the elections, indicated he would not join the House effort.
“I haven’t thought about it or made any plans to do anything,” Paul said Wednesday when asked if he would object on January 6. Asked about McConnell’s request that GOP senators refrain from that, Paul said: “I wasn’t part of that phone call.”
A number of Republican House members refused on Wednesday to acknowledge Biden’s win.
“The President has some legal options,” said Rep. Buddy Carter of Georgia when asked if he considers Biden the President-elect. Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina added: “I still think it’s premature until all legal disputes are settled,” declining to recognize Biden’s win.
Brooks, the GOP member leading the effort, is planning to send a letter to McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as committee leaders, to ask them to hold hearings on the 2020 presidential election ahead of January 6, which is the day Congress will certify the results.
“I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do and that’s fight for what I believe is that we need an improvement in our election system whether other people join or not is up to them,” Brooks said.