Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) became the first Republican senator closer to Trump to oppose the Electoral College challenge.
Cotton’s statement comes after a dozen Republican senators last week, led by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), joined more than 100 House Republicans to challenge the Electoral College certification before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.
It should be noted that Cotton, in his statement, said that he agrees that there are concerns about electoral irregularities and that he supports a commission to study this and propose reforms.
Vice President Mike Pence will oversee the joint session of Congress in which this challenge will take place. The challenges will ultimately fail because after House members oppose the certification of a state’s scheduled voters, senators defend the challenge, the two houses of Congress stand down, debate, and then vote on the challenges.
Democrats control the majority of the House and, although their majority is smaller than before the November elections, it is impossible to see any Democrat breaking ranks.
Meanwhile before Cotton’s statement in the Senate, there were already, more than enough Republicans opposed to the challenge to prevent a majority in the GOP-controlled Senate from succeeding.
Therefore, the vote is merely symbolic and will not result in the Electoral College votes to make Democrat Joe Biden president-elect overturned or questioned.
In his statement Cotton goes on to explain that he believes that this challenge from Congress to the electoral college is a perversion of the intention of the country’s founders that the states run the elections and not Congress.
“However, the founders entrusted our elections primarily to the states, not Congress. They entrusted the election of our president to the people, acting through the Electoral College, not Congress”, Cotton said.
Under the Constitution and federal law, the power of Congress is limited to counting the electoral votes presented by the states.
As such, Cotton said, he believes this could create dangerous precedents that Democrats would almost certainly abuse in the future when it benefited them politically.
It is also good to know that Congress would jeopardize the Electoral College, which gives small states like Arkansas a voice in presidential elections.
Democrats could achieve their long-standing goal of eliminating the Electoral College in effect by refusing to count electoral votes in the future for a Republican president-elect.
And least but not last, Congress would take another big step toward federalizing the electoral law, another long-standing Democratic priority that Republicans have consistently opposed. And because this effort will not succeed anyway because its supporters don’t have the votes to carry it out, Cotton says he will not endorse the challenges.
The Republican senator further indicated that he thanks President Donald Trump for all his successes during his administration and believes in what Trump accomplished, which is why he campaigned for him perhaps more than any other Republican senator.
“I am grateful for what the president has accomplished over the past four years, which is why I campaigned vigorously for his re-election. But objecting to certify electoral votes will not give you a second term, it will only encourage those Democrats who want to further erode our constitutional system of government, “concluded Senator Cotton.