As Congress met Wednesday to formalize President-elect Joe Biden's election win, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned that overturning the results would permanently harm American democracy.
McConnell delivered a speech on Wednesday afternoon as lawmakers met to count electoral votes and some Republicans objected to the certification. The Republican leader spoke out against attempts to overturn Biden's victory, noting there is no evidence of voter fraud "anywhere near the massive scale" that would have changed the outcome like President Trump has claimed.
"The voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken," McConnell said. "They've all spoken. If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever. ... If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. We'd never see the whole nation accept an election again."
McConnell noted that Congress has a "limited role" in the process, adding that lawmakers "cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids" and that ignoring the will of the voters on an "extraordinarily thin basis" would "be unfair and wrong."
"And I will not pretend such a vote would be a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing," McConnell said. "I will vote to respect the people's decision and defend our system of government as we know it." Brendan Morrow