Senate legislator Mitch McConnell for the primary time acknowledged Joe Biden's victory and mentioned him as President-elect, six weeks after polling day and amid President Donald Trump's continued refusal to accept defeat.
"The body has spoken," McConnell said in remarks from the Senate floor within the US Capitol, adding, "Today i would like to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden."
McConnell's comments are significant as long as many Senate Republicans still wouldn't recognize Biden's victory on Monday evening even after the body made the win official. Behind the scenes, McConnell also urged Republican senators on a personal call to not join House members on Epiphany to object to state electoral results, a source on the call tells CNN, when Congress formally counts the body votes and members of Congress can object. Other top Republicans including Senate Majority Whip John Thune and Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt echoed that sentiment. Doing so, they said, would be fruitless and force them to cast a politically challenging vote against the President that day. McConnell had given the White House a heads up before he took to the floor Tuesday afternoon to congratulate Biden on his win, according to a source familiar with the matter. Politico first reported that the Senate majority leader had sent a message to the White House ahead of his remarks.
Democrats have criticized Republicans' refusal to simply accept the result of the Election, and highlighted how it took quite 40 days since Americans visited the polls for several GOP members of Congress to speak up.
"The incontrovertible fact that it took six weeks for my colleagues to acknowledge reality and stop undermining our Democratic process is gloomy and disappointing," said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin in a floor speech Tuesday following McConnell's remarks. Senate legislator Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that Trump must "take his cue from Leader McConnell, that it is time to finish his term," during a floor speech and also called on his GOP colleagues to follow suit.
"Our Republican colleagues, for the sake of our democracy, for the sake of the peaceful transition of power, should stop the shenanigans," Schumer said "Stop the misrepresentations and acknowledge that Joe Biden will be our next president."
McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, made his comments after praising the Trump presidency within the past , touting his administration's accomplishments, including the country's "economic prosperity," "foreign policy," judicial appointments, and "bold regulatory changes" in a floor speech.
"It would take much more than one speech to catalog all the main wins the Trump administration has helped deliver for the American people," he said. "The outsider who swore he would shake up Washington and lead our country to new accomplishments, both reception and abroad proceeded to try to to exactly that. President Trump and vice chairman Mike Pence deserve our thanks and our gratitude for his or her tireless work and their essential roles altogether these victories and in more."
In his floor remarks, McConnell also congratulated Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for the primary time.
"I also want to congratulate the vice president-elect, our colleague from California, Senator Harris," he said. "Beyond our differences, all Americans can pride oneself that our nation features a female vice president-elect for the very first time."Dr. Dhillon Randeep
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