WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Reed (R) says he will not join a coalition of Congress members who plan to contest the electoral college results on Wednesday.
Nearly a dozen Senate Republicans and more than 100 House Republicans say they will fight back against the constitutionally required vote, if an emergency audit is not completed beforehand.
After hearing feedback from residents during a conference call on Monday night, Reed says he will not overrule states and their designated electors.
“We can rebuild trust in our elections by transparently addressing the last-minute, confusing way some states conducted voting in 2020,” said Reed in a statement on Tuesday. “The Constitution, however, makes clear Congress cannot overrule states and their designated electors. I must be true to the oath I took to uphold the Constitution and will not object to any state’s electors tomorrow.”
However a chorus of congressional members still insist that elections in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia require re-examination. While Republicans admitted their objections are unlikely to change the election results, they still consider the debate important.
The Republican movement faced backlash from Democrats who believe their congressional peers are undermining the process of democracy.
Some also decried the movement, including former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said in a statement that “Biden’s victory is entirely legitimate” and that efforts to sow doubt about the election “strike at the foundation of our republic.”
Other prominent former officials also criticized the ongoing attack on election results. In a brief op-ed in The Washington Post, the 10 living former defense secretaries, half of them having served Republican presidents, called on Pentagon officials to carry out the transition to the new administration “fully, cooperatively and transparently.” They also asserted that efforts to involve the U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes “would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory.”
Despite President Trump’s claims of voter fraud, state officials have insisted the elections ran smoothly and there was no evidence of fraud or other problems that would change the outcome. The states have certified their results as fair and valid. Of the more than 50 lawsuits the president and his allies have filed challenging election results, nearly all have been dismissed or dropped. He’s also lost twice at the U.S. Supreme Court.
The certification process, the final step before President-Elect Joe Biden is sworn in Jan. 20, begins at noon Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.