How Congress will count the Electoral College votes this week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The congressional joint session to count electoral votes is generally a routine, ceremonious affair. But President Donald Trump’s repeated, baseless efforts to challenge Democrat Joe Biden’s victory will bring more attention than usual to Wednesday’s joint session of the Senate and the House.

The congressional count is the final step in reaffirming Biden’s win, after the Electoral College officially elected him on Dec 14. The meeting is required by the Constitution and includes several distinct steps.

Republicans who are echoing Trump’s baseless claims of fraud have said they will officially object to the results, forcing votes in the Republican-run Senate and the Democratic-controlled House that will almost certainly fail. A group of House Republicans had been looking for a senator to sign on because there must be support from at least one member of each chamber to force the votes. That support came Wednesday from Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, a possible contender in the 2024 GOP presidential primary.

Hawley’s challenge comes despite a plea from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that Republican senators not join the futile House effort. McConnell told his caucus on a private call in December that it would be a “terrible vote” for Senate Republicans to have to take.

A look at the joint session:

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