WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — After a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, lawmakers reconvened and worked well into the night to certify the Electoral College election of President-elect Joe Biden.
The riot, which left four people dead and several injured, was condemned by U.S. leaders and globally as an attack on democracy. Determined not to be intimidated, Congress returned to work after it was cleared.
“The Capitol is secured and the people’s work continued,” Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the certification, said after proceedings resumed.
“Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress,” agreed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“We will not be diverted from our duty,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., echoed as she gaveled her chamber back into session.
The uprising prompted some Republicans who had planned to object to the certification of some states’ votes, including outgoing Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., to reverse course.
“I cannot now in good conscience object to the certification,” Loeffler said.
“Count me out. Enough is enough,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., added.
However, more than 100 representatives and six senators, all Republicans, voted to object the results in Arizona — the state being debated when the Capitol was breached — Georgia and Pennsylvania.
“This is the appropriate place for these concerns to be raised,” said Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who led objections in the Senate, going on to insist that unfounded allegations of fraud should be investigated.
While Hawley objected to Pennsylvania’s votes, he did not take the time allotted to him to debate the issue.
Democrats slammed the Republicans who challenged the votes.
“They’re asking us to ignore court rulings, ignore Republican election officials and, even worse, ignore the will of the people,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., said.
She and her fellow Democrats, and even Republicans like Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, blamed Trump for stoking the unrest. Several Democrats and one Republican have called on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from his job.
“This mob was invited to come to Washington on this day by this president,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said.
In the end, all the objections failed and Biden’s victory was certified shortly after 3 a.m.