After hours of debate, interrupted by a violent pro-Trump mob storming the U.S. Capitol in a brazen attempt to overturn the events of the election, Congress finally certified the results of the November presidential election, cementing President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ victory over President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
Pence, in his ceremonial role as president of the Senate, oversaw the certification in a joint session of Congress which, despite the threats of challenge from a number of Republican lawmakers, only saw two full debates — over the results of Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Applause broke out in the chamber as Pence read the final results of the election, with lawmakers on both sides standing and clapping.
Shortly after breaking to debate the Arizona results, the violent insurrection interrupted the proceedings, with a mob of protesters stormed the Capitol Building, rioters breaking windows to enter the House chamber floor, and violent protesters breaking through Capitol Police barricades to access the Capitol Grounds outside the building.
Vice President Mike Pence, reopening the Senate after the insurrection, directly addressed the demonstrators: “You did not win.”
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the “failed insurrection” underscored lawmakers’ duty to finish the count. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would show the world “what America is made of” with the outcome.
Punctuating their resolve, both the House and Senate soundly rejected an objection to election results from Arizona, which had been raised by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and another from Pennsylvania brought by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA).
Most House Republicans supported both objections.
Other objections — to Georgia, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Michigan — failed due to not having a senator sign on to back them.
Following the resumption of the joint session after the failed Pennsylvania challenge, Vermont, home of Sen. Bernie Sanders, and its 3 electoral votes, put Biden over the 270 threshold necessary to become the 46th President of the United States.
The final Electoral College total, as expected, was 306 for Biden, with 232 for Trump.