Meijer: Electoral College objections are political theater

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Certification of the Electoral College vote is slated for Wednesday in Washington, and the process will be different than any that anyone can remember.

Some Republican members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives will object to certifying the vote in favor of President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat.

But at least three Republican members of Michigan’s congressional delegation say they will stay hands off in the attempt to change the outcome.

Freshman Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Grand Rapids, who has been in his Capitol Hill office scant hours before having to take on some momentous issues, said he will vote to affirm the electors.

He went on to say he is concerned about some aspects of what’s happening in Washington.

“I am concerned about the protest” planned by Trump supporters, Meijer said. “Obviously everyone has a First Amendment right to demonstrate. Where I am deeply concerned is that even in the world where every single Republican signed on to this effort in both the House and the Senate, it would still fail because Democrats control the House. This is not an effort that we can expect to succeeded. This is not an effort that would succeed if there was complete unanimity among Republicans.

“That means this is theater. This is all done as a fundraising effort,” he continued. “Folks are making hundreds of millions of dollars in fundraising off of this effort and they’re taking advantage of folks’ hearts, they’re taking advantage of their minds and they’re taking advantage of their wallets and that deeply troubles me.

“And I’m really worried about the … potential for violence tomorrow. I hope that cooler heads prevail. I pray that it remains peaceful. But we really need to ensure that we are accurately speaking about what the government’s role is, accurately speaking about what the law is and not just creating these scenarios where we can try to pretend that the world is anything other than what it is.”

Longtime U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, says he has never seen anything like this in his time in Washington, but he knows how it will end:

“I can remember some earlier congresses with some pretty big votes literally the first week — the vote on the Iraq war back in ’93 — but nothing, we’ve never had anything like this,” Upton said. “We also all know what the result is going to be because remember to overturn it, not only would you have to overturn a majority of states to take away from Biden’s 306, but you also have to pass it in both the House and the Senate and it’s not going to be close in either body.”

He also won’t join with objections.

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, said he also wouldn’t join the objections, saying he didn’t think the federal government can overturn an election conducted by a state.

U.S. Reps. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, and Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, said they will object to some of the electors.

The process will begin Wednesday afternoon but Upton said he expects the debate to go into the night and not finish until Thursday afternoon in what is likely to be one of the final acts in one of the most unusual and tumultuous election cycles in memory.

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