DEMOCRATS vs. DEMOCRATS
With Democratic heads on the verge of exploding as congressional Republicans are set to overturn the 2020 presidential election, one would think that all factions of the Democratic Party would be on the same page, right? READ MORE
While Florida Democrats all agree that Republicans are trying to illegally overturn the election, some Democrats are still at each other’s throats, even over the dumbest things.
This is the case with Rep. Anna V. Eskamani (D), who called out State Senator Jason Pizzo, calling him a liar. Pizzo made the accusations against Eskamani, The Floridian just corroborated his claims.
Eskamani should think before she speaks…READ MORE
The 117th Congress
Well, the new Congress has been sworn in and ready to tread water in the DC Swamp.
Congratulations to all members, including freshly-minted Reps. Kat Cammack, Byron Donalds, Maria Elvira Salazar, Carlos Gimenez, and Scott Franklin, who are now full-fledged members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Since taking office in 2017, my priority has been to listen to my constituents, to deliver results for my community, and to put people above politics. Excessive partisanship and polarization in Congress have hurt the American people, especially during this pandemic, which is why I’ll keep working across party lines to help Florida,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy. “It’s an honor to have been given the opportunity to serve Central Florida for the next two years, and I’ll continue to do everything I can to earn the trust that my constituents have placed in me.”
Rick Scott @SenRickScott–I am proud of the hard work by so many in the Administration to develop and quickly distribute this vaccine to the states. We aren’t successful until everyone who wants a vaccine can get one and I know they are working hard to make sure that is a possibility.
Marco Rubio @marcorubio–We have been pushing to protect Americans from the dangers posed by #China investments. Removing Chinese telecom companies from U.S. exchanges is a good start but we still need to pass my American Financial Markets Integrity and Security Act.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets–The 11 GOP Senators who will undermine our democracy this Wednesday will get the same result as every Trump lawsuit: another embarrassing loss. A fitting end to the Trump presidency.
Rep. Val Demings @RepValDemings–I spent most of my adult life enforcing the laws, and believe that no one is above the law. What you are about to hear is shameful and disgraceful, especially coming from the President.
Byron Donalds @ByronDonalds –@SpeakerPelosi has achieved two things as speaker; tearing apart the State of the Union & handing her party the slimmest majority since WWII. We need a leader who puts the people over politics and who doesn’t answer to the Squad. That is why I proudly voted for @GOPLeader
Rep. Brian Mast @RepBrianMast-Nancy Pelosi abused taxpayer dollars to lead a sham impeachment investigation against President Trump solely for the purpose of delegitimizing the President. Now, millions of Americans have important questions about voter fraud, but Congress refuses to conduct an investigation.
Rick Scott: ‘United States will not tolerate threats’ from Iran by The Floridian’s Jim McCool
“Brian Mast : ‘Killing of Soleimani was necessary and positive’ by The Floridian’s Jim McCool
Rep. Brian Mast will oppose certification of 2020 election” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Wounded Combat Veteran and Rep. Brian Mast (R) becomes the latest member of the U.S. House of Representatives to announced that he will oppose the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral votes. Rep. Mast joins Reps. Kat Cammack, Byron Donalds, Matt Gaetz, Michael Waltz, and other Florida Republicans to oppose Biden’s win. “Nancy Pelosi abused taxpayer dollars to lead a sham impeachment investigation against President Trump solely for the purpose of delegitimizing the President,” stated Rep. Mast. “Now, millions of Americans have important questions about voter fraud, but Congress refuses to conduct an investigation. “It’s clear that Congress only intends to act when it will hurt President Trump, and I will not go along with this farce,” added Rep. Mast. “Therefore, in the absence of a Congressional investigation into fraud in the 2020 Presidential election, I will oppose certifying the results.” Vice President Mike Pence has just added his name to the Republican call to reject Biden’s votes.
“Florida Democratic infighting continues over defending George Soros” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – The rift or infighting within the Florida Democratic Party continues after the 2020 presidential election debacle, as Progressive State Senator Jason Pizzo has stoked the ire of ultra-progressive State Rep. Anna Eskamani over her ties to billionaire George Soros. Rep. Eskamani took issue with Sen. Pizzo’s Soros is “paying your salary” tweet, accusing the popular Miami senator of “feeding into Republican talking points against George Soros. “C’mon @AnnaForFlorida, there are billionaires like George Soros paying your salary,” tweeted Pizzo. “Many public companies’ shareholders are (union) pension funds – let’s keep the spirit of public service, ditch the class conflict, and work for everyone to get their piece of the American Dream!” Eskamani fired back, stating “Wow, feeding into Republican talking points by attacking George Soros, lying about my employer, and defending corporations? It’s not ok that companies like @amazon get major tax breaks while everyday people don’t. Floridians deserve an economy that works for all, Senator.
“Ted Cruz, Kat Cammack will oppose Biden’s electoral votes” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – As expected, Texas Senator Ted Cruz will lead the charge in opposition to the Jan. 6 certification of the 2020 presidential electoral votes President-elect Joe Biden received, if Congress does not call for a 10-day audit of the election results. Sen. Cruz becomes the latest Republican senator, along with freshman Congresswoman-elect Kat Cammack (R-FL), to announced that they will oppose the presidential election results. “Given my constitutional duty and the fact that thousands of sworn affidavits detailing specific election irregularities remain unresolved, I will object to the electoral college certification process on January 6,” stated Rep.Cammack. Rep. Cammack joins fellow Floridian’s Reps. Matt Gaetz, Byron Donalds, Michael Waltz, and Maria Elvira Salazar, in announcing their intention to rebuke President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral votes in certain contested states. While congressional Democrats call the move treasonous and unprecedented, there is actually precedent on this matter. The group of lawmakers cites the 1877 race between Samuel Tilden and Rutherford Hayes in which there were allegations of widespread fraud in several states.
“Charlie Crist may run against Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2022” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Florida Congressman Charlie Crist is said to be considering a run against Governor Ron DeSantis in the 2022 gubernatorial election. According to several lobbyists that say they have entertained a phone call from Crist regarding a possible run, and one influential member of the U.S. Congress, who corroborates their claims, Crist is willing to leave his cushy job in Washington for his former job in Tallahassee. The Florida Democratic Party, which is still reeling over their statewide defeats to Republicans in 2020, has had a shortlist of possible challengers to DeSantis, so if Crist is serious about the run, Democrats could jump behind his third run for governor. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has been considered the best potential Democratic candidate to face DeSantis, may have just seen her chances of becoming her political party’s gubernatorial nominee go up in smoke. Crist does not lose primary races. Well, he did once leave the Republican Party in order to keep from losing his GOP Senate primary race against now-Senator Marco Rubio.
“Reps Murphy and Crist Urge Biden to Focus On Bipartisanship” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – The Blue Dog Coalition, led by Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D) directed a letter to Vice President Biden (D), calling on him to prioritize bipartisan legislation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response and subsequent economic recovery. As well, the Blue Dogs mentioned their priorities heading into the 117th Congress. The priorities include COVID-19 crisis relief, job creation, government reform, holding foreign adversaries accountable, and fiscal responsibility. Congratulating Biden on the election win, the Coalition explained: “that in order to make lasting progress, Congress must pursue bipartisan policies that can be implemented, while prioritizing those that pertain to the pandemic response and the economic recovery.” With that being said, they acknowledge that “the 117th Congress is going to be narrowly divided, with a slim Democratic majority in the House, and, at best, a narrow Senate majority.” Adding that “our nation faces major challenges as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Coalition asserted that “Americans are sick of Congress playing partisan games.” In an effort to strengthen a bipartisan effort, the Coalition not only highlighted what the 117th Congress will be prioritizing, but they also explained why they will be prioritizing said initiatives.
“100+ Congressional Republicans Will Vote Against Biden’s Electoral Vote” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – With 2020 coming to a close, Americans eagerly await what will happen regarding the pressing legal challenges that President Trump (R) has doubled down on regarding the Electoral College votes. Congress is scheduled to convene on January 6th to count the Electoral votes that so far place Vice President Joe Biden (D) as the winner of the 2020 Presidential election, but Republican lawmakers have already vowed to not accept the victory and to instead combat the results.” In an appearance on “the Bulwark Podcast,” Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R), who’s faced criticism over his disapproval of President Trump’s legal challenges, commented that “upwards of 100” Congressional Republicans will be voting to not accept the election results. Kinzinger explained that “you’re going to have some people that come out and take a strong stand but man, I hope I’m wrong.” He even admitted that he wouldn’t be “surprised if it approaches three figures.” Kinzinger has made his voice known as Republicans continue to face infighting between those that support President Trump and those that are welcoming a Biden administration. Calling Trump’s arguments conspiracy theories, Kinzinger has expressed that the Republican party must “Restore the GOP” because Trump is “trying to burn the place down on the way out because you can’t handle losing.”
“Florida Republicans Come to DeSantis’ Defense on Vaccine Plan” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has faced criticism from Florida Democrats over his vaccine plan. This week, Florida Rep. Ted Deutch (D) unloaded on the sunshine state Governor, saying that DeSantis has paid more attention to holding press conferences than to actually implementing a plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to Floridians. This comes after Florida reported 13,871 new coronavirus cases, which is the highest number of cases in a day that have been reported since July 16. As well, the deaths in Florida are now reaching close to 22,000. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) directed a letter to Governor DeSantis, questioning why more than 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been received but “only 146,160 vaccine doses have been administered – just 15 percent of available vaccine doses, and just 0.68 percent of Florida residents.” Calling DeSantis’ plan “very chaotic,” Fried commented that “instead of efficient, centralized distribution management by the State of Florida, distribution has been left to hospitals and county health departments.” This, Fried argues has resulted in Floridians that “are left without answers or clear direction from overwhelmed local agencies on when, where, and how to receive the vaccine.”
“Democrats will struggle to field viable, non-Socialist Democrat against Rubio” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) is up for reelection in 2022, and while Florida Democrats hope to supplant the senior senator with the help from their bottom-feeding Lincoln Project amigos, who will step up to challenge Rubio in the upcoming mid-term election, another Socialist Democrat? Defeating Rubio will be a heavy lift for any Democrat, and considering how badly Florida Democrats lost in 2020 with their embrace of Progressive Socialism, it will be interesting to see who puts their political career at risk to run against Rubio. Whoever runs against Rubio will have to bring a lot to the table in order to persuade Florida voters that they are not in lock-step with the failing Democratic Socialism project started by Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016. The first person that could challenge Rubio is Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D) of Orlando. Rep. Murphy, a House Blue Dog Democrat, is definitely looking at the race, even though she told The Floridian that she was focused on doing her job as a member of the House of Representatives. Even though she is perceived to be ‘moderate’ and has a great family story to tell, her voting record tells the greater story about how her potential senatorial candidacy could be dead on arrival.
“House Democrat Deutch wrong about DeSantis’ ‘mass vaccinations’ plan” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Florida Congressman Ted Deutch (D) is claiming t0day that Gov. Ron DeSantis has been more focused on holding press conferences than implementing a plan for “mass vaccinations.” Regardless of what his definition of “mass vaccinations” is, Rep. Deutch appears to be wrong in suggesting that Gov. DeSantis does not have a plan to get Floridians vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. “In the early weeks of vaccine distribution in Florida, it is clear that @GovRonDeSantis is happy to plan press conferences but hasn’t done the work to plan for mass vaccinations. We need fewer photo ops and more shots,” stated Deutch. Well, just a couple of weeks back, DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management under the leadership of Director Jared Moskowitz had amassed 5 million syringes, needles, and swabs used for vaccinations. An onhand supply of 5 million of these vaccine kits qualifies as preparations for “mass vaccinations.” “We in the state of Florida have been actively planning and preparing for vaccine distribution, including by purchasing necessary supplies,” detailed Governor DeSantis. So far, “we have purchased 5 million syringes, 5 million needles, and 5 million alcohol swabs.”
“Florida Adds 10,603 COVID-19 Cases, Bringing State Total to 1,365,436” by NBC Miami – Florida added 10,603 COVID-19 cases to its overall total Sunday, while 97 more deaths were reported, according to the state’s department of health. More than 21,900 people in the state have now died from COVID-19, while 1,365,436 people have contracted the virus in Florida. The state’s positivity rate, which shows the daily percentage of tests that come back positive, is currently 12.43 percent, according to the department. In Miami-Dade County, 305,734 people have been infected with the virus. The county added 1,547 more cases Sunday and reported 4,251 total deaths. Over in Broward, a total of 141,010 people have tested positive for the virus, a jump of 900 cases since Saturday. 1,872 total coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in the county. In Palm Beach County, 85,479 COVID-19 cases have been reported. 1,909 people have died from the virus in Palm Beach.
“Republicans condemn ‘scheme’ to undo election for Trump” by Associated Press’ Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick – The extraordinary Republican effort to overturn the presidential election was condemned Sunday by an outpouring of current and former GOP officials warning the effort to sow doubt in Joe Biden’s win and keep President Donald Trump in office is undermining Americans’ faith in democracy. Trump has enlisted support from a dozen Republican senators and up to 100 House Republicans to challenge the Electoral College vote when Congress convenes in a joint session to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 win. With Biden set to be inaugurated Jan. 20, Trump is intensifying efforts to prevent the traditional transfer of power, ripping the party apart. Despite Trump’s claims of voter fraud, state officials have insisted the elections ran smoothly and there was no evidence of fraud or other problems that would change the outcome. The states have certified their results as fair and valid. Of the more than 50 lawsuits the president and his allies have filed challenging election results, nearly all have been dismissed or dropped. He’s also lost twice at the U.S. Supreme Court. On a call disclosed Sunday, Trump can be heard pressuring Georgia officials to “find” him more votes. “The 2020 election is over,” said a statement Sunday from a bipartisan group of 10 senators, including Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Mitt Romney of Utah.
“Trump supporters gather in front of Marco Rubio’s West Miami home. ‘You work for us.’” By Bradenton Herald’s Lautaro Grinspan – About two dozen Trump supporters gathered in front of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s residence in West Miami on Saturday to demand the senator challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory next week when Congress meets to formally certify election results. In a joint statement published earlier Saturday, 11 Republican senators and senators-elect said they would vote to reject Biden’s win, a course of action they acknowledge is ultimately unlikely to overturn the results of the race. Neither Rubio nor fellow Florida Sen. Rick Scott were among the statement’s signatories. At the West Miami gathering, protesters waved Trump flags and chanted “stop the steal.” One attendee could be heard screaming “we need a new party.” Another held a sign that read “Rubio we are watching you.” The rhetoric of the speakers who addressed the group was an indication of how a perceived lack of loyalty to President Trump could emerge as an electoral threat to GOP politicians moving forward. “We ask Senator Rick Scott and Senator Marco Rubio to listen to the people. You work for us,” said Proud Boys chairman and Miami resident Enrique Tarrio.
“Senate race shines spotlight on Ebenezer Baptist, ‘Black America’s church’” by Associated Press via Tampa Bay Times – For decades, the red-bricked Gothic Revival church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached has been a monument to the history of Black Americans’ fight for civil rights and the legacy of an activist icon. It took a high-stakes Senate race and a Trump-era cultural debate to thrust Ebenezer Baptist Church into the center of the current political debate. Its senior pastor, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, is running for the Senate in one of two runoff elections that could decide which party ultimately controls Congress in the first years of the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden. But Warnock’s preaching has become a focal point in the debate about race and justice in the election. His opponent, Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler, has run attack ads using snippets of sermons Warnock preached from Ebenezer’s pulpit to accuse him of being a far-left, radical socialist who doesn’t support police officers or military service members. For King’s former church, the intense spotlight isn’t new. Its 6,000 members are accustomed to standing-room only Sunday services, due in large part to the out-of-town visitors who flocked to the church. Still, Loeffler’s criticisms have renewed attention on a pillar of Black life in Atlanta and a tradition of political activism it represents.
“Cammack to join effort to overturn election results” by WCJB Staff – On Jan. 6th, Congress will certify the 2020 presidential election. However, numerous congressional leaders plan to challenge the election results, including one incoming representative from North Central Florida. District-3 congresswoman elect Kat Cammack announced Saturday that she will be joining a growing list of Republicans on Capital Hill in challenging the validity of the 2020 election. Cammack says in a statement, quote, “given my constitutional duty and the fact that thousands of sworn affidavits detailing specific election irregularities remain unresolved, I will object to the electoral college certification process on January 6.” State election officials in states such as Georgia and Pennsylvania have stated there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential elections.
“Florida Man Jarrod DeFerrari Accused Of Post-Election Vandalism In Portland, Oregon” by CBS Miami and Associate Press – A 23-year-old Sunrise man faces riot and other charges in connection with post-election mayhem in downtown Portland, Oregon. Jarrod DeFerrari was stopped with other people in a parking garage at about 7:10 p.m. November 4the according to court records. A sheriff’s deputy found a hammer, a gas mask, an empty can of spray paint and an illegal mortar firework in DeFerrari’s backpack, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court. DeFerrari was indicted this week on charges of felony riot and three counts of criminal mischief. He caused more than $5,000 of damage at Riverside Tobacco, more than $1,000 of damage at St. André Bessette Catholic Church, and more than $1,000 of damage at Alco Properties, according to the indictment. Multnomah County Deputy Nicholas Bohrer encountered DeFerrari in the garage, according to the affidavit. One of the members of the group identified himself as an FBI agent and said he had been following them “because they had been rioting,” the affidavit said. The agent reported that DeFerrari was with about 100 people, including eight who “were actively breaking windows,” the affidavit said.
“Florida gun sales surge amid 2020 pandemic, protests, election” by Orlando Sentinel’s Monivette Cordeiro – Gun sales surged in Florida through the end of 2020, following a national trend amid an unprecedented year marked by the coronavirus pandemic, historic protests over police misconduct and a turbulent election. A spike in sales usually happens around Christmas as people buy guns for themselves or get ammunition and other accessories as stocking stuffers, said Robbie Motes, owner of The Armories, a chain of Central Florida gun stores. But purchases at his shops this year were up about 75% compared to a normal holiday season, Motes said. First-time gun buyers who bought a firearm in March, at the beginning of the pandemic, came back to buy more, he added. “Many more people have decided to take their protection into their own hands,” he said. In Florida, background checks for gun sales and transfers in 2020 exceeded every year since 2004 with more than 1.5 million background checks as of Dec. 28, according to data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It’s a significant uptick from 2019, when FDLE conducted 942,052 background checks. The biggest months for state background checks in 2020 coincide with moments of political and social upheaval, the data show. In March, which had 169,715 background checks, the COVID-19 outbreak shut down Florida and began a deadly spree that has since killed almost 343,000 people in the U.S.
“What does Congressman Bill Posey believe about the presidential election?” by Florida Today’s Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon – President Donald Trump’s campaign has filed some 50 lawsuits claiming some form of election fraud; none have stuck. Specific claims of malfeasance have been investigated by states from Georgia to Nevada to Michigan and Pennsylvania, but none appeared to have any merit after officials looked into them. Every state has certified their 2020 presidential election results, in some cases, more than once. But Rep. Bill Posey, a Republican from Rockledge, who represents Brevard and Indian River Counties in Washington, isn’t satisfied. “I don’t think it’s been investigated properly,” he told FLORIDA TODAY in a 20-minute phone interview from the nation’s capital Wednesday. Since election day, Posey has written and co-signed letters to the Department of Justice, the United States Postal Service, CIA and other agencies and cited since-debunked claims from lawsuit affidavits, demanding answers. Speaking to a reporter before the latest Texas lawsuit was filed asking the Supreme Court to throw out the election results in four states won by President-elect Joe Biden, which he has since expressed support for, he said: “I don’t know where it’s gonna go (in the courts).” The Supreme Court Friday evening rejected the Texas lawsuit. Posey is one of 125 House Republicans who signed an amicus brief in support of the Texas suit.
“U.S. judge orders two Georgia counties to halt voter purge ahead of Senate runoff” by Reuters Staff – A federal judge on Monday ordered two Georgia counties to reverse a decision removing thousands of voters from the rolls ahead of Jan. 5 runoff elections that will determine which political party controls the U.S. Senate. The counties seemed to have improperly relied on unverified change-of-address data to invalidate registrations, the judge, Leslie Abrams Gardner, said in her order filed late on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. “Defendants are enjoined from removing any challenged voters in Ben Hill and Muscogee Counties from the registration lists on the basis of National Change of Address data”, Gardner wrote in the order. The judge is the sister of Democratic activist Stacey Abrams, who lost a race for Georgia governor in 2018. The bulk of the registrations that the counties sought to rescind, more than 4,000 of them, were in Muscogee County, which U.S. President-elect Joe Biden won handily in November, Politico reported. An additional 150 were from Ben Hill County, which President Donald Trump won by a wide margin, the report added. Nearly 2.1 million people have cast ballots in the U.S. Senate runoff election in Georgia that will determine whether Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the fate of Biden’s agenda, according to state data published Thursday.
“Nearly 2.1 million have voted early in U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia” by Reuters’ Brad Heath – Nearly 2.1 million people have cast ballots in a U.S. Senate runoff election in Georgia that will determine whether Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the fate of President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda, according to state data published Thursday. More than a quarter of the state’s registered voters have either cast ballots early or through the mail, the state’s figures show, a sign that turnout in the pair of Senate races will be high. About 4 million Georgians voted early in the November election, in which Democrat Biden defeated President Donald Trump. The runoffs pit Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff against Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, respectively. The runoff election was necessary because no candidate won more than 50% of the vote on Nov. 3. The state releases information about the number of people who voted, but does not tally their votes until election day. About 1.3 million people voted early at in-person polling places, according to the state data. Another 721,000 sent ballots by mail. A total of about 1.3 million Georgians requested mail-in ballots.
“Republican senator says he will challenge Biden victory in Congress” by Reuters’ Jason Lange – Republican Senator Josh Hawley on Wednesday pledged to challenge Democrat President-elect Joe Biden’s victory when Congress convenes to officially tally the electoral votes, which could trigger a lengthy debate in the Senate but has virtually no chance of overturning the results. Hawley, the junior senator from Missouri who was elected in 2018, said in a statement, that “some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws.” “At the very least, Congress should investigate,” he said in a statement. Hawley did not provide any evidence for his claims. A number of Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives have said they plan to object to the election results, but Hawley is the first U.S. senator to do so. Biden beat President Donald Trump by a 306-232 margin in the Electoral College. Trump has refused to concede defeat and has repeatedly falsely claimed the election was tainted by widespread fraud. Under the Electoral College system, “electoral votes” are allotted to states and the District of Columbia based on their congressional representation. Congress is due to make the Electoral College tally official on Jan. 6 in what is largely a ceremonial session.
“How Trump Allies in Congress Plan to Challenge Joe Biden’s Electoral College Win” by WSJ’s Siobham Hughes and Lindsay Wise – Congress is set to hold a joint session Wednesday to ratify Democrat President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win in the November election, in a final step ahead of his Jan. 20 inauguration. Some Republicans plan to raise challenges to some of the states’ results, alleging election irregularities. Their objections could force debate and votes in both chambers of Congress. None of the challenges are expected to succeed, but they could slow down the process, and they give Trump allies a high-profile chance to formally challenge the election results. Here are some questions and answers about how events will play out. The law specifies that Congress is to convene at 1 p.m. Jan. 6 for a joint meeting to officially count and validate the 538 electoral votes that have been certified by the 50 states and District of Columbia. Under the process, Vice President Mike Pence, acting in his constitutional role as the president of the Senate, opens up all the certificates reflecting the vote tallies sent by the states. He hands them to “tellers,” who are people appointed from the House and the Senate to read the ballots and verify the results. The tellers then read the states’ certificates in alphabetical order, starting with Alabama and ending with Wyoming, stating that the certificate from each state “seems to be regular in form and authentic.” Mr. Pence has the power to recognize any lawmaker who objects. Any lawmaker can challenge a state’s Electoral College votes, but it takes one member of the House and one senator to formally object to a state’s result and bring the challenge to a vote by lawmakers. The objection must be in writing. Once an objection is filed with the backing of a House member and a senator, lawmakers break up into their separate chambers to discuss and vote. There is a two-hour time limit per objection. At the end of debate, lawmakers hold a simple majority vote on the objection. Both the House and the Senate must agree for the challenge to be successful.
“Senate Overrides Trump’s Veto of NDAA Defense Bill” by WSJ’s Andrew Deuhren – The Senate voted to override President Trump’s veto of a $740.5 billion defense bill, with many Republicans joining Democrats to deliver a rebuke to Mr. Trump in the final days of his presidency and for the first time pass into law legislation he had blocked. The National Defense Authorization Act is an annual measure that secures hazard-pay raises for troops and authorizes funds for aircraft, ships, nuclear weapons, and other national-security programs. Mr. Trump had threatened to veto this year’s bill before it passed Congress, but lawmakers had moved forward anyway, approving it with wide majorities. Mr. Trump has objected to several provisions in this year’s NDAA. He has criticized it for including measures that would strip military bases of names honoring Confederate military leaders and regulate troop withdrawals he has sought in Afghanistan and Germany. The White House also sought to repeal legal immunity social-media companies enjoy for users’ content as part of the bill, a push that lawmakers rebuffed. The Senate voted 81-13 to override the veto, exceeding the two-thirds supermajority required. The action follows the House’s 322-87 override on Monday, and the bill now becomes law. “Our Republican Senate just missed the opportunity to get rid of Section 230, which gives unlimited power to Big Tech companies. Pathetic!!!” Mr. Trump tweeted Friday. The legal immunities for social-media companies are enshrined in section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.
“Pelosi Wins Fourth Term as House Speaker” by WSJ’s Natalie Andrews – Nancy Pelosi won her fourth term as House speaker on Sunday, showing in the first vote of the new session of Congress how her narrow majority will make it difficult for House Democrats to pass legislation in the new Congress. The 80-year-old California Democrat, who has led her party in the chamber since 2003, won in a 216-209 vote between her and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.), with five Democrats voting present or for someone besides the speaker. The daughter of a congressman from Baltimore, she is the first woman speaker and the first since 1955 to lose the gavel and regain it. She ran unchallenged for the position. To win the speakership, Mrs. Pelosi had to carry a majority of those present and voting by name. Democrats have 222 seats to Republicans’ 211 because one race in New York is still in dispute, and a seat in Louisiana is vacant because Republican Rep.-elect Luke Letlow died on Tuesday from complications of Covid-19. “Nancy Pelosi believes that our sacred mission is to continue America’s long, necessary and majestic march toward a more perfect union,” Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.) said when he nominated the speaker on the House Floor. Some lawmakers voted behind plexiglass because they had recently been exposed to the coronavirus, though they had tested negative for Covid-19. Rather than assemble at once, House lawmakers entered the chamber in small groups to allow for social-distancing measures.
“House Republicans pressure Senate GOP to object to Electoral College certification in at least 3 states” by Fox News’ Brooke Singman – House Republicans are growing concerned that if Republican senators don’t object to at least three states during the Jan. 6 certification of the presidential election results, that the “entire effort” will be “worthless,” sources told Fox News. Last month, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., was the first Republican senator to commit to objecting to the election results, specifically in Pennsylvania, while a group of GOP senators led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Saturday said they would object to the certification unless there was an emergency 10-day audit of the results by an electoral commission. But House Republican sources told Fox News Sunday that there is a growing concern that the Republican senators will not object to enough states to make a difference in the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, which has been called in favor of President-elect Joe Biden since November. Two House Republican officials told Fox News that more than 100 GOP House members will object to the election results in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin. “If the Republican senators don’t object to enough states, the entire effort on Jan. 6th is worthless,” a House Republican official told Fox News. “To have any chance of impacting the outcome of the 2020 election, the Republican senators must join Republican House members in objecting at least three states and ideally all six states—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Wisconsin.