Pelosi Names House Democratic Leaders for Electoral College Debate

Pelosi Names House Democratic Leaders for Electoral College Debate
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) holds a gavel during the first session of the 117th Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 3, 2021. (Tasos Katopodis/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) late Tuesday announced the Democrats who will lead the party's reaction to electoral vote objections.

Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), and Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) will lead the response, Pelosi said in a letter to her caucus.
Congress is convening in a joint session to tally presidential votes from states under the Electoral College system.
Objections are planned by some 90 Republicans to approximately six contested states, including Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Michigan, where Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was certified the winner but President Donald Trump asserts he actually won.

"If Republicans bring a challenge to a state, we then break into separate House and Senate sessions to debate," Pelosi wrote.

The quartet she named and state delegations "have been working on our Democratic presentation of the constitutional, historical, and thematic justification for respecting the will of the people," Pelosi said.

"On the floor of the House, we will have a civics lesson about protecting the integrity of our democracy. Priority to speak has been given to state delegation members from states that are expected to face a challenge," she added.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told reporters earlier this week that Democrats would defend against objections "in a serious, solemn, and substantive fashion."

The House and Senate will debate and vote separately on objections, per federal law. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Biden's running mate, will be among the senators hearing arguments on contested votes.

President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in file photographs. (Getty Images)
President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in file photographs. (Getty Images)

Pelosi cautioned Democrats earlier in the week that they were not to use the time to "debate the presidency of Donald Trump."

"While there is no doubt as to the outcome of the Biden-Harris presidency, our further success is to convince more of the American people to trust in our democratic system," she said.

Biden declared victory in the election weeks ago. Trump and some of his allies assert the election isn't over.

Some 77 representatives and 13 senators plan on objecting to electoral votes during Wednesday's joint session, according to an Epoch Times tally.

Other Republicans and virtually all Democrats oppose the effort. Objections require a majority vote in each chamber to be upheld.

Who becomes president on Jan. 20 depends on what happens during the joint session, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said this week. Hawley is one of the senators planning to object.

"This is why we have the debate, this is why we have the votes," he said.

Another potential path to victory involves Vice President Mike Pence, who presides over the session as president of the Senate. Trump and others say Pence can reject electoral votes for Biden from contested states, while detractors argue he cannot. Pence hasn't said publicly which side he agrees with.