Vice President Mike Pence Won’t Visit Israel in Early January: US Embassy

December 30, 2020 Updated: December 31, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence will not visit Israel in early January, according to the U.S. Embassy.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy confirmed the development to The Times of Israel on Wednesday, but the spokesperson did not clarify the exact date schedule.

In December, Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis, who is a member of the Likud party, had previously confirmed Pence’s visit.

“Pence is planning on visiting Israel. I don’t want to commit to the dates. It’s likely that during the trip itself there will be a declaration of normalization” with another Muslim country, Akunis told the paper days earlier.

According to a report from Politico, Pence was slated to leave the United States on Jan. 6, which is the same date that the Joint Session of Congress will count the Electoral College votes. Pence is slated to preside over the session, as he is the president of the Senate.

The news outlet, citing a government document, said that Pence would be visiting Israel, Bahrain, and Poland. The trips were not confirmed by the vice president’s office or the White House. It’s unclear if Pence will still travel to the other two countries.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Wednesday announced that he would be joining a growing number of House GOP lawmakers in challenging the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6—becoming the first senator to do so. The move would trigger a 2-hour debate before both chambers of Congress vote on a states’ electoral votes.

Both a House representative and a Senator are required to challenge the electoral vote.

“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on Jan. 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws,” Hawley wrote in a statement on Dec. 30. “And I cannot vote to certify without pointing out the unprecedented effort of mega-corporations, including Facebook and Twitter, to interfere in this election, in support of Joe Biden,” he added.