Cotton speaks out against delay of electoral vote count; Trump responds

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Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump and a possible 2024 Republican presidential candidate, is speaking out against an effort by a team of fellow Republicans to delay Wednesday’s counting of certified electoral votes during a joint session of Congress. And in a Monday morning post on Twitter, Trump expressed his dissatisfaction with Cotton’s stance.

“@SenTomCotton Republicans have pluses & minuses, but one thing is sure, THEY NEVER FORGET!” Trump tweeted Monday morning. (Scroll below for a full statement from Sen. Cotton along with the original Twitter post from President Trump.)

Lawmakers will convene Wednesday in a joint session of Congress to confirm the Electoral College results. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging Republicans to avoid a confrontation. But Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri vows to object to the state tallies, joining some House Republicans.

On the other side, GOP Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska calls such challenges a “dangerous ploy.”

Vice President Mike Pence is in the middle. Trump’s allies want Pence to change the rules when he presides over the Jan. 6 session. Biden is set to be inaugurated Jan. 20 after winning the Electoral College vote 306-232.

Sen. Cotton issued the following statement on his website Sunday stating he will not oppose the counting of certified electoral votes on Jan. 6:

“I share the concerns of many Arkansans about irregularities in the presidential election, especially in states that rushed through election-law changes to relax standards for voting-by-mail. I also share their disappointment with the election results. I therefore support a commission to study the last election and propose reforms to protect the integrity of our elections. And after Republicans win in Georgia, the Senate should also hold more hearings on these matters. All Americans deserve to have confidence in the elections that undergird our free government.

Nevertheless, the Founders entrusted our elections chiefly to the states—not Congress. They entrusted the election of our president to the people, acting through the Electoral College—not Congress. And they entrusted the adjudication of election disputes to the courts—not Congress. Under the Constitution and federal law, Congress’s power is limited to counting electoral votes submitted by the states.

If Congress purported to overturn the results of the Electoral College, it would not only exceed that power, but also establish unwise precedents. First, Congress would take away the power to choose the president from the people, which would essentially end presidential elections and place that power in the hands of whichever party controls Congress. Second, Congress would imperil the Electoral College, which gives small states like Arkansas a voice in presidential elections. Democrats could achieve their longstanding goal of eliminating the Electoral College in effect by refusing to count electoral votes in the future for a Republican president-elect. Third, Congress would take another big step toward federalizing election law, another longstanding Democratic priority that Republicans have consistently opposed.

Thus, I will not oppose the counting of certified electoral votes on January 6. I’m grateful for what the president accomplished over the past four years, which is why I campaigned vigorously for his reelection. But objecting to certified electoral votes won’t give him a second term—it will only embolden those Democrats who want to erode further our system of constitutional government.”

President Trump’s post on Twitter regarding Cotton’s decision:

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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