Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' victory early on Thursday, the end of a long day and night marked by chaos and violence in Washington, in which extremists emboldened by President Trump sought to thwart the peaceful transfer of power that has been a hallmark of modern American history by staging a violent insurrection inside the U.S. Capitol, APA reports citing CNN.
"To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win," Vice President Mike Pence said, once lawmakers reconvened after many spent hours in lockdown. "Violence never wins. Freedom wins, and this is still the people's house."
Biden and Harris finished with 306 electoral votes, while Trump and Pence had 232. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
Dozens of Republican House lawmakers, along with some Republican senators supportive of President Trump, had planned to object Wednesday to the electoral votes of as many as six states that backed Biden.
But late Wednesday night, some Senate Republicans withdrew their objections. Each objection requires the backing of a member of both the House and the Senate to be considered. Sens. Steve Daines of Montana, Mike Braun of Indiana and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia all said that they would stand down.
"I cannot now, in good conscience, object to the certification of these electors," Loeffler said Wednesday, drawing applause from some of her colleagues. Loeffler was one of two Republicans who lost their races on Tuesday, giving Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, who took up President Trump's call that lawmakers object to the results of the election, said Wednesday night that the Senate should consider his objections, but that they should be debated "without violence, without attacks, without bullets."
Senate lawmakers voted late Wednesday to reject the challenge to Biden's victory in the state of Arizona, and the House followed suit, but with many Republicans in favor of overturning the state's results. A similar result played out in the state of Pennsylvania, with both chambers voting to reject the challenge to Biden's victory there.
Republican House lawmakers also objected to the electoral votes in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin, but no senator would join in those objections.
"In that case, the objection cannot be entertained," Pence said repeatedly, chairing the proceedings in his role as president of the Senate.
So the count continued, state by state, with Vermont's three electoral votes putting Biden and Harris over the 270 mark, until finally Wyoming's three electoral votes were tallied for Trump and Pence.