Top Democrat Hoyer Accuses Republicans of ‘Threatening Democracy’ by Voting Down Inaugural Committee Resolution Naming Biden as President-Elect

Top Democrat Hoyer Accuses Republicans of ‘Threatening Democracy’ by Voting Down Inaugural Committee Resolution Naming Biden as President-Elect

Congressional Republicans on the bipartisan Inaugural Committee voted down a resolution by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) naming Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden president-elect. The committee vote on Tuesday was 3-3, with all three GOP members voting against the resolution.


Screen image from first presidential debate on September 29.

In a statement released after the vote, Hoyer accused Republicans of threatening democracy, “The extent to which Republicans are refusing to accept the outcome of the election and recognize Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our next President and Vice President is astounding. Their continued deference to President Trump’s post-election temper tantrums threatens our democracy and undermines faith in our system of elections.”

The committee members are Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Hoyer, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Sen. Roy Blount (R-MO).

Politico’s Heather Caygle reported via Twitter on the vote:

“NEW: The Inaugural Committee fails to pass simple resolution essentially acknowledging Biden as president-elect after all Republicans opposed. Hoyer offered the resolution, which failed 3-3. Other committee members are Pelosi, McConnell, McCarthy, Blunt and Klobuchar…The resolution was very basic, per folks with knowledge. It would’ve notified American people that Congress is preparing for inauguration of Biden and Harris “in coordination with health experts” as “we observe this transition of power.”

Blunt issued a statement on the vote saying, “It is not the job of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies to get ahead of the electoral process and decide who we are inaugurating. The JCCIC is facing the challenge of planning safe Inaugural Ceremonies during a global pandemic. I would hope that, going forward, the members of the JCCIC would adhere to the committee’s long-standing tradition of bipartisan cooperation and focus on the task at hand.”

Hoyer released a longer statement that ended with the text of the rejected resolution:

Hoyer: Republicans’ Rejection of JCCIC Motion Threatens American Democracy

Today, at a meeting of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC), Republicans voted to reject a motion offered by House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) that the committee affirm that it is preparing for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in coordination with the Biden Presidential Inaugural Committee. Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) were joined by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) in blocking the motion, effectively preventing JCCIC from publicly accepting that the upcoming inauguration will be for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) and Leader Hoyer voting in favor.

“The extent to which Republicans are refusing to accept the outcome of the election and recognize Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our next President and Vice President is astounding,” Hoyer said following the JCCIC meeting. “Their continued deference to President Trump’s post-election temper tantrums threatens our democracy and undermines faith in our system of elections. Today is the safe-harbor deadline, and states have now certified their results, confirming that Joe Biden will be the forty-sixth President of the United States and Kamala Harris will be the first woman and first Black and South Asian American to serve as Vice President. It is imperative that JCCIC proceed with plans for their inauguration and coordinate with the Biden Presidential Inaugural Committee. Instead, Republicans are refusing even to allow JCCIC to say that President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be inaugurated on January 20, even when there is no serious dispute over that fact.”

Every four years, JCCIC is tasked with overseeing the official inaugural ceremonies taking place at the U.S. Capitol, including the swearing-in and the Congressional receptions immediately following. Composed of three members each from the House and Senate – three Democrats and three Republicans – JCCIC met this morning, at which session Leader Hoyer introduced his motion. The motion, in full, reads:

“I move that the committee notify the American people that we are preparing for the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden Jr., and his Vice President, Kamala Harris, in coordination with the Biden Presidential Inaugural Committee and public health experts to ensure the health and safety of the American people as we observe this transition of power.”

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