WASHINGTON — After witnessing violent protests at the U.S. Capitol that included a breach of the Senate chambers, Georgia’s Kelly Loeffler said she will no longer join colleagues in objecting to the state’s electoral votes being cast for Joe Biden.
Loeffler, who lost in Tuesday’s U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia, had pledged to challenge certification of the electoral votes shortly before appearing with President Donald Trump at a campaign rally Monday in Dalton.
Loeffler made the announcement during a floor speech shortly after the Senate reconvened this evening. Both chambers had a multihour recess where members were kept in secure locations while police cleared the Capitol of rioters. One protester was shot and killed.
“The events that transpired have forced me to reconsider, and I cannot now in good conscience object to the certification of these electors,” Loeffler said. “The violence, the lawlessness and siege of the halls of Congress are abhorrent and stand as a direct attack on what my objection was intended to protect, the sanctity of the American democratic process.”
During her speech, she repeated allegations, none proven, that election officials made mistakes during the general election. But she said the will of Georgia voters is clear and Biden’s win should be sustained.
Loeffler was among several Republican senators who said Wednesday night that they will no longer object to the tally of Electoral College votes in swing states won by Biden. The others included Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma, Mike Braun of Indiana and Steve Daines of Montana.
Her comments in full, addressed to the Senate’s presiding officer:
Mr. President, when I arrived in Washington this morning, I fully intended to object to the certification of the electoral votes. However, the events that transpired have forced me to reconsider and I cannot now in good conscience object to the certification of these electors. The violence, the lawlessness and siege of the halls of Congress are abhorrent and stand as a direct attack on what my objection was intended to protect, the sanctity of the American democratic process. I thank law enforcement for keeping us safe. I believe that there were last-minute changes to the November 2020 election process and serious irregularities that resulted in too many Americans losing confidence not only in the integrity of our elections but in the power of the ballot as a tool of democracy. Too many Americans are frustrated with what they see as an unfair system. Nevertheless, there is no excuse for the events that took place in these chambers today, and I pray that America never suffers such a dark day again. Though the fate of this vote is clear, the future of the American people’s faith and the core institution of this democracy remains uncertain. We, as a body, must turn our focus to protecting the integrity of our elections and restoring every American’s faith that their voice and their vote matters. America’s a divided country with serious differences, but it is still the greatest country on earth. There can be no disagreement that upholding democracy is the only path to preserving our republic. I yield the floor.
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