MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Two Wisconsin Republicans objected to certifying Joe Biden's victories in a pair of states before his win was confirmed in a meeting of Congress that was interrupted by the storming of the Capitol by a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump.
Reps. Tom Tiffany and Scott Fitzgerald, the state's two newest members of Congress, objected to certifying votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania. Those were the only two states where votes on objection were taken.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson initially signed on to an objection to Arizona's votes before the riot Wednesday afternoon, but ultimately voted against it and one in Pennsylvania that occurred early Thursday. Leading up to the vote, Johnson was part of a group of senators on the record as pushing for objections, citing unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud and wrongdoing. In December, Johnson had said he wouldn't object.
“We needed to have the debate, but we also need to respect the rule of law and our constitutional constraints,” Johnson told The Associated Press when asked to explain his vote.
Texas U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert objected to Wisconsin’s electoral votes, but no senator signed on so there was no debate over that or vote on the objection.
Tiffany, who represents northern Wisconsin's expansive 7th Congressional District, was first elected in a special election last year and then to a full two-year term in November. Fitzgerald, the former state Senate majority leader, was elected in November to replace the retiring Jim Sensenbrenner in a district that covers western Milwaukee suburbs and counties between Madison and Milwaukee.
Tiffany first announced on Tuesday that he would object. Fitzgerald did not say ahead of the vote what he would do.
Joining Johnson in voting against the objections were Republican Reps. Glenn Grothman, Mike Gallagher and Bryan Steil along with Democrats Ron Kind, Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.
Biden won Wisconsin by 20,695 votes, an outcome that was confirmed after Trump sought a recount in the two most populated counties. Since the Nov. 3 election, Trump and his allies filed eight lawsuits challenging Biden’s win on a variety of fronts and lost in both state and federal court.
Biden, who won the Electoral College 306-232, is set to be inaugurated Jan. 20.
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