U.S. Congress certifies Biden’s presidential victory after pro-Trump protesters storm Capitol
The U.S. Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election early Thursday morning, after supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, forcing the process to halt for several hours.
Biden won 306 Electoral College votes versus 232 for Trump. It takes at least 270 electoral votes to win the White House.
The U.S. Congress met Wednesday afternoon in a joint session to formally count the electoral votes, a traditional, ceremonial event.
At approximately 3:33 a.m. ET on Thursday, Congress had certified enough electoral votes to surpass the 270 threshold that guaranteed Biden would become the 46th president, effectively ending a desperate bid by Trump and his supporters to overturn the results of the November election.
“The votes for president of the United States are as follows: Joseph R. Biden, Jr. of the State of Delaware has receive 306 votes. Donald J. Trump of the state of Florida has received 232 votes,” Vice President Mike Pence declared.
“The announcement of the state of the vote,” Pence continued, “by the president of the Senate, shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the United States each for the term beginning on the 20th day of January, 2021.”
Moments after Pence declared Biden the winner of the election, Trump released a statement in which he pledged an “orderly transition” of power.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in the statement made public by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino. “I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of our greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”
SOUNDBITE: Mike Pence, US Vice President
“The whole number of electors appointed to vote for President of the United States is 538. Within that whole number, a majority is 270. The votes for president of the United States are as follows. Joseph R Biden Jr. of the state of Delaware has received 306 votes. Donald J Trump of the state of Florida has received 232 votes.
The whole number of electors appointed to vote for vice president of the United States is 538. Within that whole number, a majority is 270. The votes for vice president of the United States are as follows. Kamala D Harris of the state of California has received 306 votes. Michael R Pence of the state of Indiana has received 232 votes.
The announcement of the state of the vote by the president of the Senate shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the United States, each for the term beginning on the 20th day of January 2021, and shall be entered together with the list of the votes on the journals of the Senate and the House of Representatives”.