WASHINGTON — Congress certified Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s victory in the 2016 election for president and vice president during a joint session Friday afternoon.
Several Democratic House members raised formal objections to the Electoral College results, but they did not have the backing of any senators — a requirement for being considered.
Vice President Joe Biden, who presided over the session, repeatedly slammed the gavel on debate, saying the objections could not be entertained.
“It is over,” said Biden said as Republicans applauded.
Trump, tweeting Friday morning, wrote that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats were “never going to beat the PASSION of my voters.”
“THEY SAW A MOVEMENT LIKE NEVER BEFORE,” he wrote in all capital letters.
Even if a bicameral objection to Trump’s election is raised, it stands no chance of passing a Republican Congress. It would only delay the certification of his 304 electoral votes, as the joint session breaks to allow each chamber to debate the objection and vote on whether to count the votes in question.
Still, several groups are urging lawmakers to challenge the results, either on the basis of Russian interference, allegations of voter suppression or what they consider to be illegal votes cast by Republican members of the Electoral College. A group of independent attorneys that researched the results claims at least 50 electoral votes are invalid because they were cast by dual office holders or electors who don’t live in the congressional district they were representing.
“We’ve been fighting him at the Electoral College, we’re going to fight him at the certification, we’re going to be there at inauguration, and we’re going to be there every day after,” said Ryan Clayton, of Americans Take Action, one of the groups pushing the legal research.
The last time bicameral objections were considered was in 2005, when the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio and former Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, both Democrats, objected in writing to the Ohio electoral votes because of reported voting irregularities in the re-election of President George W. Bush.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus attempted to raise objections in 2001 to the counting of Florida’s electoral votes but no senator endorsed the challenge. That forced Vice President Al Gore, as president of the Senate, to preside over the certification of electoral votes for his opponent, George W. Bush.