Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday said that he doesn't believe he has the "unilateral authority" to decide between competing slates of electors.
As president of the Senate, Pence is presiding over the session. The purpose of the session is to count electoral votes.
Under the Electoral College system, voters choose electors. Those electors then vote, almost always for the candidate that received the most ballots in their state. Congress meets in the January after an election to tally the votes.
Pence, though, described his role as presiding officer as "largely ceremonial."
But he noted that members of Congress can act by objecting to electoral votes. Over 100 Republicans plan to do so. They will contest at least three states, with the hope that a senator supports challenges to another three or four. Objections require signatures from a senator and a representative. They trigger a two-hour debate and a vote; a simple majority of each chamber would uphold an objection.
"Given the voting irregularities that took place in our November elections and the disregard of state election statutes by some officials, I welcome the efforts of Senate and House members who have stepped forward to use their authority under the law to raise objections and present evidence," Pence said.
He said he'd make sure that objections that meet the requirements "are given proper consideration" and criticized people who have described objections as improper or undemocratic, accusing them of ignoring "more than 130 years of history" and pointing out that Democrats raised objections in Congress the last three times a Republican candidate for president prevailed.