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The CPAC crazies are, in fact, the Republican base


Elizabeth Dye/Above the Law:

After SCOTUS Green Light, Mazars Finally Hands Over Trump’s Bigly Amazing Tax Returns
He probably fought so hard to keep them hidden out of, ummm, modesty.

And now … we wait. Maybe there will be evidence of rampant criminality in those returns. Or maybe everything is by the book and Trump just tried to hide them because he’s given away so much money to charity that he didn’t want to embarrass Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg for their paltry donations. (Yeah, probably not.)

But in the meantime, as (Cyrus) Vance pointed out in his response to Trump’s certiorari motion, the New York Times has already seen the returns and published a whole series of articles about them. So whatever happens with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, we already know that Trump is about to face a day of reckoning with the Joint Committee on Taxation, the bipartisan congressional panel tasked with reviewing all IRS refunds to individuals which exceed $2 million.

Zeynep Tufekci/Atlantic:

5 Pandemic Mistakes We Keep Repeating

We can learn from our failures.

This pessimism is sapping people of energy to get through the winter, and the rest of this pandemic. Anti-vaccination groups and those opposing the current public-health measures have been vigorously amplifying the pessimistic messages—especially the idea that getting vaccinated doesn’t mean being able to do more—telling their audiences that there is no point in compliance, or in eventual vaccination, because it will not lead to any positive changes. They are using the moment and the messaging to deepen mistrust of public-health authorities, accusing them of moving the goalposts and implying that we’re being conned. Either the vaccines aren’t as good as claimed, they suggest, or the real goal of pandemic-safety measures is to control the public, not the virus.

Five key fallacies and pitfalls have affected public-health messaging, as well as media coverage, and have played an outsize role in derailing an effective pandemic response. These problems were deepened by the ways that we—the public—developed to cope with a dreadful situation under great uncertainty. And now, even as vaccines offer brilliant hope, and even though, at least in the United States, we no longer have to deal with the problem of a misinformer in chief, some officials and media outlets are repeating many of the same mistakes in handling the vaccine rollout.

WaPo:

Most House Republicans voted not to certify some election results. Democrats are still seething.

Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), who won a GOP-held seat in 2018, said he still counts some Republicans from that class as friends and “potential partners” in legislation. But he drew a sharp contrast with the new Republicans.

“I’ll say this about the 2018 Republican freshman class: None of them tried to kill me or overthrow the United States government. So the only thing I could possibly have against them is an occasional disagreement,” Malinowski said.

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WaPo:

What’s in the House’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan

The House on Saturday passed the American Rescue Plan, marking a crucial step towards the White House’s first major piece of legislation.

Here’s what is in the House version. These breakdowns and estimates were compiled from Congressional summaries and reports, as well as the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

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LA Times:

Why your place in the COVID-19 vaccine line depends on where you live

When the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines were rolled out in the United States, the choice of who should receive them was fairly obvious — and widely accepted.

They would go to healthcare workers, who are highly exposed to the coronavirus and keep the medical system functioning, and people living in nursing homes, who have made up a third of all COVID-19 deaths nationwide.

Since then, the choices have gotten tougher: Teachers, farmworkers, senior citizens and dozens of other groups have made compelling arguments for why they should go next. For leaders making those decisions, it is effectively a zero-sum game: giving priority to some means fewer doses for others.

Though the nation’s vaccine availability will probably improve substantially in the coming months, officials at this moment are wading through what could be the most contentious phase of the rollout — a collision of relentless demand and constrained supply.

David Mastio and Jill Lawrence/USA Today:

Is Donald Trump a declining parody or a terrifying threat?

David: Trump’s CPAC comeback speech revealed a sad little man, angry at local courts and politicians and disappointed in the federal judges he seated, but who “didn’t have the guts or the courage” to bow to him. Trump tried to carry on as if he hadn’t been impeached after the Capitol was ransacked by a mob, but even the lies seemed faintly ridiculous. “We will win. We’ve been doing a lot of winning,” was the wacko fib he launched his speech with, as if he hadn’t cost Republicans control of the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House. Trump Republicans know that truth.

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Blue Collar Voters Are Flocking To The Republican Party


In recent years, Democrats have embraced the radical left and there are consequences for this.

Blue collar, working class people are now flocking to the Republican party. Is there any wonder why?

As one of his first acts as president, Joe Biden wiped out thousands of jobs.

NBC News reports:

TRENDING: BREAKING: Supreme Court Refuses to Review Pennsylvania Election Cases – Alito, Gorsuch and Thomas Dissent

The GOP is rapidly becoming the blue-collar party. Here’s what that means.

The exit of Donald Trump has brought back a more normal rhythm to politics in Washington, but outside the Beltway, deeper forces are reshaping the partisan landscape.

Data from the NBC News poll shows that the composition of the two major parties is changing, and one massive shift is coming in employment: the kinds of jobs Democrats and Republicans hold. There are signs across racial and ethnic demographic groups that Republicans are becoming the party of blue-collar Americans and the change is happening quickly.

If the movement continues it could have a large impact on the future of the GOP. Consider the scale of the change overall.

In the last decade, the percentage of blue-collar voters who call themselves Republicans has grown by 12 points. At the same time, the number in that group identifying as Democrats has declined by 8 points. Among white-collar voters, the numbers have remained stable, with Democrats seeing a tiny increase and Republicans seeing a tiny drop…

With those voters, the numbers mirror that large-scale shift — a 12-point gain for the GOP.

This is a major political shift and it includes minorities, too.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Blue-collar voters made a major shift from the Democratic Party to the GOP under former President Donald Trump, including those from Hispanic and black demographics.

The percentage of blue-collar voters who associate themselves with the Republican Party has grown 12 points over the last decade, an NBC News poll found. During that same time frame, the number of blue-collar voters calling themselves Democrats declined by 8 points.

The shift holds true across demographic lines, with more Hispanic and black blue-collar people identifying with the GOP.

This could have a major effect on the elections of 2022 and 2024.

Cross posted from American Lookout.





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Republican Senator Tom Cotton Presses Biden On Flood Of Unvaccinated Illegal Immigrants Crossing Border


Under Biden, illegal border crossings are going up.

That would be bad enough on its own, but it’s especially bad in the midst of a pandemic when the people crossing the border have not been tested or vaccinated.

Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and other Republicans are raising this important issue with Biden.

Breitbart News reports:

TRENDING: “We Shouldn’t Have Followed Him – We Shouldn’t Have Listened to Him” – Nikki Haley Slams Trump and His Supporters

Exclusive: Cotton, Republicans Press Biden on ‘Unvetted’ and ‘Unvaccinated’ Illegal Aliens Pouring into USA as Coronavirus Pandemic Rages

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is pressing Democrat President Joe Biden to answer for what he calls dangerous immigration policies which are leading to flooding of the nation with “unvaccinated” illegal aliens capable of further spreading the coronavirus within America’s borders.

The letter from Cotton to Biden, signed by several other GOP senators, opens by noting Biden has re-implemented failed immigration policies from former President Barack Obama’s administration before adding that the Biden policies are endangering America’s public health as well as the nation’s public safety and economic well-being.

The letter, which Breitbart News obtained exclusively ahead of its public release, is signed by Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Barrasso (R-WY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Joni Ernst (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Thune (R-SD), Mike Lee (R-UT), Rick Scott (R-FL), James Inhofe (R-OK), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).

“We write regarding your administration’s efforts to severely weaken border security and immigration controls in the midst of an historic pandemic,” Cotton and the GOP senators wrote to President Biden. “Your re-implementation of the failed Obama-era policy of “catch-and-release,” your planned rescission of international agreements like the Migration Protection Protocols (also known as the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program), and your attempts to dismantle immigration enforcement and halt deportations have predictably led to a surge of migration to our southern border. This endangers our economic recovery, weakens public safety, and imperils our nation’s public health.”

Cotton has been talking about this on Twitter:

The Biden administration needs to answer for this.

Cross posted from American Lookout.





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Republican states will be offered a Medicaid deal that would be too dumb to refuse in COVID-19 bill


Campaign Action

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that this, combined with increases in ACA subsidy eligibility for lower-income people, would mean nearly 4 million currently uninsured people could get coverage. That would include about 640,000 low-income essential and front-line workers.

That’s all great, though those Republican states are so dug in to their opposition to Obamacare that even an influx of cash might not be enough to do it. Congress and Biden can do no more than try on that front. But what they’re doing, which can be much for impactful, is giving the states the ability to lengthen coverage duration to 12 full months for new moms. That extension would last for states for five years, and again would have a particular impact in the non-expansion states, where some programs kick mothers out of coverage 60 days after giving birth, though their infants retain coverage for a year. This would give new mothers a huge boost, being able to have pregnancy-related health complications, like postpartum depression or recovery from a C section treated for a full year with consistent coverage.

In the states that expanded Medicaid, most of these women are able to maintain coverage under Medicaid because their income still qualifies. The non-expansion states, however, kick them off at 60 days. And because the non-expansion states are primarily in the southeast of the U.S., that means a lot of women of color don’t have that coverage. The option to extend coverage for 12 months exists, but states wanting to do it have to obtain a waiver from the federal government. This legislation would allow states to do it without that application process.

This would provide a sliver of the assistance Democratic lawmakers are seeking to provide to Black mothers with their Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021. According to the Centers for Disease Control, black mothers are more three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. There’s a lot more to that problem than just access to coverage under Medicaid, but it would still be a key component in addressing the issue, particularly now.

“During COVID-19, we’ve seen Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and Asian Americans face higher rates of exposure to the virus and suffer more severe health consequences upon infection. These disparities are unacceptable,” Rep. Lauren Underwood, one of the momnibus’ sponsors, said. “The hour for bold action has arrived and bold action is what the momnibus represents.”





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‘This Is The Modern GOP!’ Stephen Colbert Rips New Republican ‘Insult’ To America



Stephen Colbert is done with Republicans who continue to defend the party’s conspiracy theorists, such as “QAnon Congresswoman” Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

Greene was booted from her committees on Thursday for endorsing the murder of Democratic politicians as well as her embrace of wild conspiracy theories, such as her claim that there was no evidence a plane hit the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. 

On Thursday, Greene tried to walk back some of those claims. 

“I also want to tell you that 9/11 absolutely happened,” she said. 

The “Late Show” host called her past statements an insult to the memory of 9/11 victims:

“This may come as a surprise to you, but those of us who watched those buildings burn with our bare eyes here in the New York City area are not that impressed with your willingness to admit that it happened. I believe we as a nation promised to always remember it happened. What’s your bumper sticker say? ‘9/11. Oops, I Forgot’?”

“This is the modern GOP, they want credit for recognizing reality,” Colbert added, then played a clip revising a famous line from former President Ronald Reagan in Berlin: “Mr. Gorbachev, this is a wall.” 

And he was just getting warmed up. Check out his full monologue below: 





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Rob Portman’s Announced Departure Exposes Myth Of The “Principled Republican”


We keep hearing about splits in the Republican ranks between those who have sold their souls to the extremist arm of the party loyal to Trumpism, embodying white supremacist and anti-democratic values, and those more traditional Republicans who insist on sharply differentiating the ideology of conservativism from Trumpism.

The founders of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project hold fast to this distinction, writing in their inaugurating statement, “We have been, and remain, broadly conservative (or classically liberal) in our politics and outlooks. Our many policy differences with national Democrats remain, but our shared fidelity to the Constitution dictates a common effort.”

New York Times op-ed columnist Thomas Friedman has similarly clung to this fantasy that there exist two distinct Republican animals, as when he wrote last December:

If Trump keeps delegitimizing Joe Biden’s presidency and demanding loyalty for his extreme behavior, the G.O.P. could fully fracture — splitting between principled Republicans and unprincipled Republicans. Trump then might have done America the greatest favor possible: stimulating the birth of a new principled conservative party.

Senator Rob Portman’s recent announcement that he will not be seeking re-election, however, explodes the efficacy of any such distinction and thus also exposes this invented figure of the “principled Republican” as just that: an invention, a myth, a kind of Big Foot.

Let’s just look at the rationale Portman offered for his decision.  He told us in rather boilerplate fashion that “it has gotten harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress on substantive policy, and that has contributed to my decision.”

And he offered this distorted version of political history:

“We live in an increasingly polarized country where members of both parties are being pushed further to the right and further to the left, and that means too few people who are actively looking to find common ground. This is not a new phenomenon, of course, but a problem that has gotten worse over the past few decades. This is a tough time to be in public service.”

As the kids say these days when they text: OMG!

Just as Lee Atwater’s infamous Southern Strategy created an argot for Republican, or conservative, ideology so they could stop using the n-word and encode their racism in dog-whistle terms such as “states’ rights” and “tax cuts,” Portman here is speaking in a similar code.

What he is saying here is no less repugnant and disgusting than when Donald Trump declared that there were “fine people on both sides” after torch-carrying white supremacists marched on Charlottesville in the summer of 2017 chanting “Jews will not replace us.”

Saying both sides are responsible for the gridlock underscores Portman’s own lack of accountability for the Republican extremism we see today and which, quite arguably, is not all that new.

Remember how virtually the moment Barack Obama was elected John Boehner and Mitch McConnell declared a strategy of non-compromise? Mitch McConnell openly declared, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

Obama, in fact, was routinely and roundly criticized by those in the progressive camp for bending over backwards to cultivate a culture of bi-partisanship at the expense of pushing through important legislation.

I don’t recall Senator Portman taking a strong vocal stand against the Republican pledge to obstruct the Obama presidency or speaking in favor of or taking action to promote the bi-partisan culture Obama sought.

Recent events put an even greater emphasis on Portman’s bad faith. He was not among the five Republican senators who joined the 50 Democratic senators in declaring the impeachment proceedings against Trump constitutional. Nor, to my knowledge, did we hear Portman loudly announce the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s election as presidency.

In short, this “principled Republican” has not differentiated himself through word or deed from Trump.

And this because Republican or conservative principles are really not that different from Trump’s.

Both Mitt Romney, usually named and numbered among “principled Republicans,” as well as McConnell, a long-serving traditional if not principled Republican, have declared that they do not see Americans in need and thus don’t see the need for a substantial relief package.  Their resistance to supporting relief packages, particularly those that including funding to states, is precisely that is presenting obstacles to getting Americans vaccinated so we can fully open the economy and return to normalcy.

In short, Republican principles won’t help to pass legislation to help suffering Americans or address our multiple crises at the moment.

Conservatives believe in small government, and that’s exactly what Trump has given us in gutting vital government agencies, including the Center for Disease control, a move that has hobbled the nation’s ability to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

And of course principled Republicans loved Trump’s tax cuts. Re-distributing wealth to the richest is a key Republican principle.

Portman wants to blame both sides for drifting to extremes.

It’s hard to see. In my lifetime, I have seen the spectrum of political discourse move increasingly to the right, such that what is now called “the left” was once considered the center, and the “right” is practically off the radar to the extreme right. “Principled” Republicans don’t want to speak out against Nazi and Confederate flags being waved at the Capitol. They want to move on from the events of January 6 and not hold Nazi and white supremacist seditionists accountable.

I don’t recall Rob Portman speaking loudly against this position.

The gridlock is a result of the extremist “principles” of Republicanism. They simply want power and control, not democracy.

There was a time when Republican presidents such as Dwight Eisenhower advocated for the existence of unions as a necessary element of any democracy. He warned against the rise of the military industrial complex.

Now Republicans are stridently anti-union and anti-worker as a matter of principle, and they worship the military industrial complex.

Those Republicans trying to distance themselves from Trump are trying to save themselves and their party so they can find a new way to consolidate power, disarm democracy, and work against the American people.

 

 

 



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Time for Democrats to ignore Republican whining and do the right thing on COVID-19 relief


Right now, Republican senators who reluctantly supported a relief and stimulus package with wildly inadequate $600 direct payments to help people survive the COVID-19 economy are talking about how very sad they are that congressional Democrats are making noises about using reconciliation to pass a new bill with a simple majority rather than allowing it to be filibustered. They’re appealing to President Biden to make those mean Democrats stop trying to help people put food on their tables.

“The president is sincere in his commitment to bipartisanship. That’s the way he always operated when he was a senator. And from my conversations with him since the election, it seems clear to me that he wants to continue to operate that way,” Sen. Susan Collins said. And I’m sure he does—but not at the cost of doing the right thing for the public and the economy, I’d hope. Which means he wouldn’t be doing what Collins wants and backing a watered-down relief package.

”This is the smartest and best place for the president to start on his unity promises,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said. “That’s where I think the president has to show the leadership of what he has said he wants to do. … He is the president. So what I think the Democratic leaders need to realize is it’s his agenda.” And what Republican pretenders-to-bipartisanship need to realize is that Biden’s agenda includes helping people and strengthening the economy, not going back on his promises and tanking both the economy and his support in the name of a false bipartisanship.

“Part of unifying the country is addressing the problems that the American people are facing,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in response to a reporter’s question using Republican framing on bipartisanship and Biden’s goals of unity. Exactly: Republicans in Congress aren’t the only people involved in unity, though they may think they’re the center of the universe. Psaki noted the multiple polls showing widespread public support for a real relief package, and Biden’s outreach not just to Republicans in Congress but to governors and mayors around the country to find out what their needs are.

At the same time that Republicans are whining about bipartisanship, House Republicans are refusing to take action on their own members who are literally leaving House Democrats afraid for their lives. Some Republicans have carried or tried to carry guns onto the House floor, and had temper tantrums over metal detectors put out to prevent exactly that. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has hit like on social media posts about assassinating Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders. When video of Greene harassing Parkland survivor David Hogg resurfaced, Rep. Lauren Boebert responded by … harassing Hogg online. Both Greene and Boebert did what they could in inciting the Capitol insurrection. 

Democrats are literally buying bulletproof vests in part out of fear of their coworkers, and Republican leaders are treating Greene and Boebert as caucus members in good standing. Any Republican in Congress who is not calling for Greene and Boebert to face consequences—and not just calling for it in one media interview, but using whatever leverage they have to make it happen—can shut all the way up about bipartisanship. And if they do open their mouths without first earning it, it is incumbent on the media to ignore or outright mock and condemn them.

For their part, Democrats absolutely should go ahead with reconciliation if Republicans refuse to do what’s right for the country. And they should jam that bipartisanship whining right back in the Republicans’ faces—heaven knows the past four years gave them plenty of material to work with.





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Watch Florida Republican try to explain why he thinks Trump impeachment trial is ‘stupid’


In a very slightly more eloquent attempt to express himself, Rubio said he feels, “We already have a flaming fire in this country,” and that a trial would amount to “a bunch of gasoline.” Basically, just another way of arguing that a trial would rupture unity efforts, even though as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued last week, ignoring all that’s gone is actually what is more likely to sow division in the country. Why? Because we need accountability. 

As of Sunday morning, at least one Republican sees the impeachment trial differently than Rubio, however. We can check out more of what Rubio said below, as well as what one of his peers in the Senate argued.

Rubio said he does think Trump “bears responsibility for some of what happened” and that it was “certainly a foreseeable consequence of everything that was going on.” It would be fascinating to hear what Rubio qualifies as “some” of what happened when a group of pro-Trump rioters surged into the U.S. Capitol and effectively terrorized elected officials. Rubio, instead, stressed he thinks that is “separate” from the idea of revisiting it and “stirring” it up. 

Here’s that clip.

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Also related to the Trump family, Wallace asked Rubio how he feels about whispers that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, may run for a senate seat in Florida. Given that Rubio is up for reelection in 2022, a primary challenge is considerably important. Rubio, however, dodged the meat of the question by declaring that he “really get into the parlor games of Washington.”

He did say that if he wants to be “back in the U.S Senate, I have to earn that every six years” and that he doesn’t own his seat. Which is true, but would ring as a touch more meaningful if Florida didn’t have rampant voter suppression issues. 

Wallace also spoke to Sen. Mitt Romney about the impeachment trial, posing the same question to both Republicans. Did they agree with fellow Republicans who argued that the trial should be thrown out under the alleged basis that it’s unconstitutional to convict a former president? Rubio said yes, he’d definitely vote to nix the trial, but Romney thinks the proceedings are constitutionally solid. (Which, of course, they are.)

“if you look at the preponderance of the legal opinion by scholars over the years,” Romney explained, “the preponderance of opinion is that yes, an impeachment trial is appropriate after someone leaves office.” Romney, who did vote to convict in the first trial, however, did not say how he would vote either way a second time, noting they have yet to actually hear arguments and evidence from both sides. 





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Congressional Republican efforts to overturn election continue: Live coverage #3


Josh Hawley, ambitious weasel supreme

In the wake of a Trumpist mob storming the Capitol even as some congressional Republicans tried to overturn the results of the elections in several states from within the Capitol, some had hoped that enough of those Republicans would back down and allow the counting of electoral votes to conclude quickly. That is supposed to be a routine task, after all. But Senate Republicans with 2024 presidential ambitions, like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, were trying to curry favor with Trump’s base after Donald spent the last two months convincing his voters that the election had been stolen, and were intent on dragging it out. 

After hours of lockdowns and danger, this is Hawley’s concession: He’s still going to object to the counting of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes. But then he’ll shut up and yield his time—all five minutes of it. Other members of Congress can yap to their hearts’ content, or at least for five minutes. So this will still be a long night on top of a long, traumatic day.

Thursday, Jan 7, 2021 · 4:21:22 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

In other words, Hawley said he thought it was so important to object to Arizona’s votes that it was worth debating, but he didn’t mention Arizona when it was his turn to talk. And then Hawley thought it was so important to talk about Pennsylvania that he’s forcing the House and Senate to sit through another round of debate. But he’s not even going to bother to say anything.

Stunt voting in it’s most basic form.

Thursday, Jan 7, 2021 · 4:53:53 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

Georgia got an objection from the House side, which appears to have come from just Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. But now that Kelly Loeffler has lost interest in playing along—likely because her political career, such as it was, is over more than the day’s events—no other Senator signed on.

So Trump lost Georgia. Again.





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11 Republican senators push to delay certification of Biden victory


Eleven GOP senators and senators-elect will push to delay the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump in the Electoral College during a formal joint session of Congress on Wednesday, they announced in a statement.

The senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, cited allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election for which they provided no evidence and which have been rejected repeatedly by courts around the country.

The Department of Justice has said it did not find evidence of widespread fraud in the election.

The effort, the latest among dozens of Republican attempts to overturn Trump’s loss, is unlikely to alter the Electoral College tally, which Biden won 306-232. Biden is expected to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

In their statement, the senators said they will object to the certification of electors from “disputed states” unless Congress establishes a commission to examine those states’ elections. The commission would conduct an “emergency 10-day audit,” they wrote.

“Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed,” the senators said in the statement.

Mike Gwin, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign, said in a statement: “This stunt won’t change the fact that President-elect Biden will be sworn in on January 20th, and these baseless claims have already been examined and dismissed by Trump’s own Attorney General, dozens of courts, and election officials from both parties.”

Marc Elias, a Democratic election lawyer who has overseen the Biden campaign’s response to many of the lawsuits challenging the 2020 election, wrote in a post on Twitter that there is “no way” that the GOP effort “changes the outcome of the election.”

The senators who signed onto the statement are Cruz, Ron Johnson, R-Wis., James Lankford, R-Okla., Steve Daines, R-Mont., John Kennedy, R-La., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. and Mike Braun, R-Ind.

The senators-elect who signed it are Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama. The senators-elect will officially take office on Sunday.

Wednesday’s joint session of Congress, typically a formality, is when lawmakers are scheduled to formally count the Electoral College votes awarded to each candidate for president and announce the victor.

Vice President Mike Pence, as the president of the senate, will preside over the session. Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short said the vice president “shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election.”

If at least one senator and one member of the House of Representatives casts an objection to a state’s results, the joint session is suspended and the House and Senate meet separately for at most two hours to consider the objection. It requires a majority of both chambers of Congress to agree to the objection and reject the electoral college votes.

“The Vice President welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people on January 6th,” Short wrote in a statement Saturday.

While Republicans control the 100-member Senate, Democrats hold a majority of the House of Representatives, making it all-but-impossible for an objection to have a realistic chance of succeeding.

In their statement, the senators acknowledge that their plan has little chance of working, and that they “expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans” will vote against them.

In a post on Twitter, the campaign wrote “THANK YOU!” and listed the names of each of the eleven current and incoming senators, as well as Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who had earlier said he would object to the Electoral College certification.

“It’s encouraging to see so many patriots step up and demand an investigation into the rampant voter fraud and irregularities we saw on November 3rd,” Jenna Ellis, senior legal advisor to the campaign, said in a statement.

The efforts to reverse Biden’s win have drawn fire from Democrats and an increasing number of Republicans. In December, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged his party not to object to the Electoral College results.

“The Electoral College has spoken. So today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden,” McConnell said on Dec. 15, after the Electoral College formally certified Biden’s win and weeks after NBC News and other major media outlets had called the result of the race.

Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., has repeatedly said that Trump’s efforts to overturn the results are likely to go down like a “shot dog.”

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the GOP presidential nominee in 2012, said that Hawley’s move was “disappointing and destructive.”

After Saturday’s announcement, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., said that Hawley and Cruz were undermining “the right of the people to elect their own leaders.”

“The senators justify their intent by observing that there have been many allegations of fraud. But allegations of fraud by a losing campaign cannot justify overturning an election,” Toomey said. “They fail to acknowledge that these allegations have been adjudicated in courtrooms across America and were found to be unsupported by evidence.”

Toomey added that he voted for Trump and endorsed him for reelection. “But, on Wednesday, I intend to vigorously defend our form of government by opposing this effort to disenfranchise millions of voters in my state and others,” he said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said in a statement earlier in the day that she would vote to count the Electoral College votes.

“I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and that is what I will do January 6 — just as I strive to do every day as I serve the people of Alaska,” Murkowski said.

“The courts and state legislatures have all honored their duty to hear legal allegations and have found nothing to warrant overturning the results,” she added. “I urge my colleagues from both parties to recognize this and to join me in maintaining confidence in the Electoral College and our elections so that we ensure we have the continued trust of the American people.”

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