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Some Republican Senators Walk Back Objections To Election Results

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., announced Wednesday evening that she would no longer object to the Electoral College results from her state.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., announced Wednesday evening that she would no longer object to the Electoral College results from her state.

Updated at 61:28 a.m. ET Thursday

Heading into Wednesday's Electoral College counting process, 14 Republican senators had said they planned to object to at least one state's results.

But that number dwindled after a mob overtook the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday afternoon, stoked by President Trump and his continued falsehoods about the election's legitimacy.

Many Republican lawmakers had based their reasons for objecting on the same sorts of conspiracy theories that election experts say led to the violence.

And specific focus is being paid to Republican senators, as objections to a state's results during the counting process can be sustained only if a senator and a House member sign off on them.

More than 100 House Republicans had said they planned to object to results, and a significant majority of the House GOP conference did just that. But Republicans in the Senate were less willing. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had said that rejecting results without evidence would threaten to send U.S. democracy into a "death spiral."

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., said on the Senate floor after the proceedings resumed Wednesday night that she had intended to object to her state's results but no longer could "in good conscience."

Loeffler lost her runoff race this week to Democrat Raphael Warnock.

"The violence, the lawlessness and siege of the halls of Congress are abhorrent and stand as a direct attack on the very institution my objection was intended to protect," she said.

It's worth noting that over the past two months, Loeffler was one of the loudest amplifiers of falsehoods about supposed voter fraud in Georgia, after Trump lost in the state in the November election. Election administrators there begged for weeks for officials to stop sharing such claims, for fear of violence.

Republican Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma, Steve Daines of Montana and Mike Braun of Indiana also said reversed course on objecting to any state's results.

But Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Roger Marshall, R-Kan., went ahead with their objections, but that didn't prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden's victory.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Miles Parks is a reporter on NPR's Washington Desk. He covers voting and elections, and also reports on breaking news.