House GOP Leader McCarthy Says He Supports Electoral College Vote Challenge

January 3, 2021 Updated: January 3, 2021

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Sunday he supports the bid to challenge the Electoral College results when the Joint Session of Congress meets on Wednesday.

“I think it’s right that we have the debate. I mean, you see now that senators are going to object, the House is going to object—how else do we have a way to change the election problems?” McCarthy told The Hill on Sunday.

It’s not clear if McCarthy will be one of the objectors in the House.

The move is being led in the House by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), who told The Epoch Times in November he is mounting the challenge. Last week, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) became the first senator to join the House GOP challenge, as the effort requires a representative and a senator to carry out.

Dozens of House Republicans have said they would join Brooks’s efforts, including prominent members such as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). A group of senators led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also said they would object to the Electoral College results for key states if no emergency audit is held.

A lawmaker, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), said he believes that upwards of 100 GOP House representatives will partake in the effort, while one anonymously sourced report puts that number at over 140.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) previously urged Republicans in the Senate not to challenge the votes, while his No. 2, Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), said the challenge will fail.

House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the third-highest ranking Republican in the House, sent a memo to lawmakers urging them not to challenge the electoral votes. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said the challenge would sow doubts about the U.S. election system, although she didn’t address the outstanding allegation of fraud and irregularities during the Nov. 3 election.

“As you will see, there is substantial reason for concern about the precedent Congressional objections will set here. By objecting to electoral slates, members are unavoidably asserting that Congress has the authority to overturn elections and overrule state and federal courts,” she wrote.

“Such objections set an exceptionally dangerous precedent, threatening to steal states’ explicit constitutional responsibility for choosing the President and bestowing it instead on Congress. This is directly at odds with the Constitution’s clear text and our core beliefs as Republicans,” she added. Cheney, however, pointed to Democrats in the House and Senate objecting to electoral votes in prior contests, such as during the 2004 presidential election between former President George W. Bush and Democrat John Kerry.

McCarthy’s comment came after he was reelected as House minority leader. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) again regained her speakership role on Sunday