Even after the electoral college confirmed President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the election winner on Monday, some of President Trump’s most staunch allies in Congress refused to accept his loss and vowed to reverse the results on the ground of yet could be the United States House of Representatives.
Mr Trump reinforced their allegations and distributed an article Tuesday on the efforts of Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama, to question Mr Biden’s victory when the House and Senate meet to officially award it on Jan. 6 ratify.
While the Constitution gives Congress the final say in the election, there’s no chance it will agree to reverse the results and keep Mr. Trump in office.
Every four years the House and Senate meet to formally tabulate the votes and to raise final concerns about the results. Usually it is a superficial confirmation of the vote in the electoral college. But this year Mr. Brooks threatened to turn it into a messy final estate through objections. It’s almost certain that he will fail, but not before a potentially divisive spectacle on the floor of the house that could put Vice President Mike Pence in the politically dangerous position of confirming that Mr. Trump has lost.
The process is designed to be tedious. Mr. Brooks would first have to find a willing Republican Senator to work with him on the challenge that federal law requires that at least one member of each chamber be co-signed. No Republican senator has come forward to support the effort, and on Tuesday Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, privately appealed to Republicans in his chamber not to join.
Even if it did, there wouldn’t be enough support to sustain the objection. In the event of a challenge from a member of the House and Senate, the joint session would be suspended and the legislature would return to their respective chambers for up to two hours of debate. They would then vote on whether the election results of the state concerned should be discarded. Both chambers would have to agree to reject the votes, which has not happened since the reconstruction.
Democrats control the house, so there is no chance this chamber will vote to discard the results. While the Republicans run the Senate, several party members have recognized Mr Biden as the election winner, and Mr McConnell made it clear in a phone call with his colleagues on Tuesday that the effort would not have his support either.