US Congress meets to decide the fate of President-elect Biden, Know all about the procedure

By: |
January 6, 2021 6:51 PM

The US Congress is going to meet soon and will put the final seal of approval on President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

The joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate will be meeting on Jan 6, 2021.

The US Congress is going to meet soon and will put the final seal of approval on President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. The procedure that is going to be followed is long and drawn out and will hopefully put to rest all the objections that have been raised by the Republicans in the US who are supporting the US President Donald Trump.

Know more about what to expect:

The joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate will be meeting on Jan 6, 2021.

Why?

The two chambers of the US Congress will be meeting and they will sit down to formally tally the results of the Electoral College.

This is the final step in the months’ long process for the selection of the new President of the US.

As per the American Constitution Vice-President Mike Pence will be formally presiding over the session.

538 electoral votes are allotted to states and the District of Columbia based on their congressional representation. The President-elect Joe Biden had captured 306 electoral votes and President Trump got 232.

These numbers are based on the votes which were cast on December 14, 2020.

While the proceedings are brief and ceremonial in nature, are expected to carry on till Thursday (Jan 7, 2020), as some of the Republicans are expected to challenge the results in key states.

What is the process of reading the votes?

It will all start with the Vice President Pence opening the sealed certificates from all the states as well the District of Columbia who have declared their electoral votes.

The certificates will be read out loudly and will be tallied in the presence of all the members of both Chambers by a group of bipartisan group of lawmakers.

And those who raise any objections have to give in writing which then has to be endorsed by at least one Senator and one member of House of Representative.

Then …

The Joint Session will get disbanded. And as per the laid down protocol, each chamber is expected to hold a two-hour debate and expected to vote on each and every objection. And every objection should get majority support. This will ensure that no electoral votes will be voided.

Does the Congress have the power to void the President-elect Biden’s win?

Only if enough electoral votes were voided. This means when neither Biden nor Trump gets the 270 votes which are needed to secure the presidency, then the Congress can pick a new president.

Since the Democrats are controlling the House, there no chance that such a situation will occur, a majority of both chambers is required to support an objection for electoral votes to be voided.

Also, the Senate which is held by the Republicans is not likely to vote for voiding the votes. According to reports 11 Republican senators along with Senator Ted Cruz are expected to reject electors. And on the other hand most of the chamber`s 100 members, several high-profile Republicans, have recognized Biden as the new incoming president.

What is the role of VP Pence?

Only ceremonial! He cannot and does not have the authority to overturn the results of the election and is not expected to deviate from his role. And in case he does cross that line, his actions can be challenged in court.

In case VP Pence is not available?

It will be carried out by the longest-serving senator in the majority party. In this case, it could be Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

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