Trump pledges an "orderly" transfer of power to Biden
Following a formal affirmation of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, President Trump said the decision "represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history."
"Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th," Trump said in a statement.
"I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again," Trump said while repeating false claims about the election that incited a mob to storm the Capitol.
Senate Chaplain Barry Black delivered a powerful prayer just moments after Congress had affirmed President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, condemning the “desecration” of the Capitol building and reminding lawmakers of the weight of their words and actions.
“We deplore the desecration of the United States Capitol Building, the shedding of innocent blood, the loss of life, and the quagmire of dysfunction that threaten our democracy," he said.
“These tragedies have reminded us that words matter and that the power of life and death is in the tongue,” he continued. “We have been warned that eternal vigilance continues to be freedom's price.”
Read his prayer:
"Lord of our lives and sovereign of our beloved nation, we deplore the desecration of the United States Capitol building, the shedding of innocent blood, the loss of life, and the quagmire of dysfunction that threaten our democracy. These tragedies have reminded us that words matter and that the power of life and death is in the tongue. We have been warned that eternal vigilance continues to be freedom's price. Lord, you have helped us remember that we need to see in each other a common humanity that reflects your image. You have strengthened our resolve to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies domestic as well as foreign. Use us to bring healing and unity to our hurting and divided nation and world. Thank you for what you have blessed our lawmakers to accomplish in spite of threats to liberty. Bless and keep us. Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to do your will and guide our feet on the path of peace. And God bless America. We pray in your sovereign name, amen."
4:50 p.m. ET, January 7, 2021
Congress affirms Biden's Electoral College victory
Congress has just affirmed President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump.
The counting of Vermont's three electoral votes put Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris over the 270-threshold needed to win the presidency.
Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the count conducted by a joint session of Congress, announced that Biden had won the Electoral College vote after the House and Senate easily defeated Republican objections lodged against the votes sent by two states, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
"The announcement of the state of the vote by the President of the Senate shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected President and Vice President of the United States, each for the term beginning on the 20th day of January 2021 and shall be entered together with the list of the votes on the journals of the Senate and the House of Representatives," Pence said following the count of all of the state's Electoral College votes.
The House just rejected an objection to Pennsylvania's electoral vote
From CNN's Kristin Wilson
The House voted to reject an objection to throw out Pennsylvania's Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden. The challenge failed by a vote of 282-138.
The measure was also dismissed in the Senate, with a 92-7 vote tally.
The House and the Senate will now reconvene in a joint session to continue to count the remaining Electoral College votes. Track the electoral vote count here.
Pennsylvania will be the last state that will be debated. We expect Wisconsin to be challenged in the House, but there will not be a senatorial signatory to it.
There are 12 states to go.
Remember: Any further objections must be made in writing and backed both by a member of the House of Representatives and a senator, from any state.
Objections that are entertained by the chair — that’s Vice President Mike Pence, whose duties include serving as president of the Senate — will force both the House and Senate to withdraw for debate in each chamber, which will be capped at a maximum of two hours.
3:10 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021
Congressman announces he's positive for Covid-19 four hours after voting on House floor
From CNN's Kristin Wilson and Daniella Diaz
GOP Rep. Jake LaTurner of Kansas has announced via Twitter that he has Covid-19. He is not experiencing any symptoms, according to the tweet.
He voted in person four hours ago on the House floor per this vote tally.
See his tweets:
2:36 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021
House is voting now on objection to Pennsylvania's electoral votes
The House just wrapped up its debate over an objection on Pennsylvania's electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden.
The objection is expected to fail. It already failed in the Senate, the vote was 92-7.
3:07 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021
2 House members confronted each other during the Pennsylvania objection debate. Here's what happened.
From CNN's Kristin Wilson and Daniella Diaz
Two members of the House confronted each other on the House floor over a push to strike another members' remarks from the record.
It began when Rep. Morgan Griffith, a Republican from Virginia, objected to what Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. Conor Lamb said during the Pennsylvania Electoral College challenge debate.
This is what Lamb said that led to GOP members objecting:
"Enough has been done today here today already to try to strip this Congress of its dignity and these objectors don't need to do anymore. We know that that attack today, it didn't materialize out of nowhere, it was inspired by lies, the same lies that you're hearing in this room tonight. And the members who are repeating those lies should be ashamed of themselves, their constituents should be ashamed of them," he said.
Rep. Andy Harris and Rep. Colin Allred yelled at each other to “sit down” “no, you sit down!” from across the floor.
They both then confronted each other in the aisle. At least a dozen other members bench cleared from their sides. Rep. Al Lawson of Florida, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, and a senior Democratic staffer helped break up the confrontation.
According to CNN's Kristin Wilson, who was in the room, the situation diffused fairly quickly but tensions were high.
The deputy Sergeant-at-Arms showed up in the scrum.
Watch the moment:
2:25 a.m. ET, January 7, 2021
Trump "committed a mortal crime against the republic," former GOP congressman says
From CNN's Leinz Vales
Former Republican Rep. Charlie Dent expressed his disgust Wednesday over rioters who stormed the US Capitol building and President Trump's rhetoric that helped sparked the unrest.
"He's committed a mortal crime against the republic," Dent said. "He should have resigned over this, but he won't, of course."
In an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon, the former Pennsylvania lawmaker conveyed his anger with a pro-Trump rioter carrying a Confederate flag inside the Capitol building, calling it a "desecration."
"I always proudly took my constituents to a plaque right by the east-front Capitol, right by the front door. It's a plaque dedicated to the honorary first defenders from Allentown, Pennsylvania, in Redding, Pennsylvania ... who went to the Capitol, at the call of Abraham Lincoln, to defend the Capitol during the Civil War. ... The confederates never got there. They were there to protect against the rebellion. And here we are, watching Confederate flags running through the Capitol. To see this desecration to me, it's so upsetting as an American, as a Republican. How could this happen?"