Home Science & Tech Could Congress overturn Biden’s Electoral College win? Possibly. Will it? No.

Could Congress overturn Biden’s Electoral College win? Possibly. Will it? No.

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Even after the Electoral College certified President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the winner of the election on Monday, some of President Trump’s staunchest allies in Congress refused to accept his loss, vowing that they could still reverse the results on the floor of the United States House of Representatives.

Mr. Trump amplified their claims, recirculating an article on Tuesday about the efforts led by Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama, to challenge Mr. Biden’s victory when the House and Senate meet to formally ratify it on Jan. 6.

But while the Constitution gives Congress the final say in the election, there is no chance that it will agree to overturn the results and keep Mr. Trump in office.

Every four years, the House and Senate come together to formally tabulate the electoral votes and raise any final concerns about the results. Normally, it is a perfunctory confirmation of the Electoral College vote. But this year, Mr. Brooks has threatened to transform it into a messy last stand by objecting. He is all but certain to fail, but not before a potentially divisive spectacle on the House floor that could thrust Vice President Mike Pence into the politically perilous position of confirming that Mr. Trump lost.

The process is designed to be arduous. Mr. Brooks would first have to find a willing Republican senator to partner with him in the challenge, which federal law says must be co-signed by at least one member of each chamber. No Republican senator has yet come forward to back the effort, and on Tuesday, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, appealed privately to Republicans in his chamber not to join it.

Even if one did, there would not be enough support to sustain the objection. In the event of a challenge by a member of the House and Senate, the joint session would pause and lawmakers would go back to their respective chambers to debate for up to two hours. They would then vote on whether to toss out the electoral results of the state in question. Both chambers would have to agree to reject the votes, something that has not happened since the Reconstruction era.

Democrats control the House, so there is no chance that that chamber would vote to overturn the results. While Republicans lead the Senate, several members of the party there have recognized Mr. Biden as the winner of the election, and Mr. McConnell made it clear in a call with his colleagues on Tuesday that the effort would not have his support either.

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