WASHINGTON (CN) — A day after U.S. electors convened to make President-elect Joe Biden’s victory official, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly recognized a new administration would take the White House in January.
“So, as of this morning, our country has officially a president-elect and a vice president-elect,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “Many millions of us had hoped the presidential election would yield a different result. But our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on January the 20th. The Electoral College has spoken.”
Spending most of his speech lauding the accomplishments of outgoing President Donald Trump, McConnell extended congratulations to both Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, saying neither individual were strangers to the Senate chamber.
Regardless of political alignment, Americans could take pride in the fact that for the first time in history, the nation’s vice president-elect was a woman, he said.
“I look forward to finishing out the next 36 days strong with President Trump,” McConnell said. “Our nation needs us to add another bipartisan chapter to this record of achievement.”
McConnell’s statement comes after more than a month of legal challenges by the Republican party and Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Those challenges culminated in a lawsuit submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who asked justices to completely invalidate the vote in a handful of states.
Justices declined to entertain the challenge last Friday, in a 7-2 decision.
The move has made an indelible impression on the Republican party. Congressman Paul Mitchell, a Michigan Republican, announced Monday in a letter that he would become an independent due to the party’s antics at the high court and Trump’s reaction to the court’s decision.
“It is unacceptable for political candidates to treat our election system as though we are a third-world nation and incite distrust of something so basic as the sanctity of our vote,” Mitchell wrote. “Further, it is unacceptable for the president to attack the Supreme Court of the United States because its judges, both liberal and conservative, did not rule with his side or that ‘the Court failed him.’”
The dominos of Republican opposition to Biden’s presidency have been crumbling since the high court’s ruling.
On Monday, a myriad of Senators told Capitol Hill pool reporters it was time for Trump to acknowledge his loss as the country’s 538 electors voted in results from November 3, to give Biden 306 electoral votes to confirm his victory.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, told reporters at some point Trump would have to “face the music,” and that it was “time for everybody to move on” from the past four years. West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican, also said it was time for an administerial transition.
“It certainly looks that way, and I think it’s time to turn the page and begin a new administration,” Capito told reporters.
Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican who is retiring at the end of his term, said in a statement Monday it was critical to ensure an orderly transition of power, especially during a pandemic.
“The presidential election is over,” Alexander said. “States have certified the votes. Courts have resolved disputes. The electors have voted. I hope that President Trump will put the country first, take pride in his considerable accomplishments, and help president-elect Biden get off to a good start.”