But a handful of Democratic House members continued to object during specific states and tried to continue their speeches even after Biden gaveled them down and said debate is not allowed. After the states were counted, three citizens in the audience gallery stood up to demonstrate.
At one point, Rep. Maxine Watters, D-Calif., stood and asked for a senator to join them. Only four Democratic senators attended the ceremony.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said it was “embarrassing” for House Democrats that they couldn’t get a senator to join the protest. But he added that Republicans were prepared in case an objection succeeded.
“Senator McConnell made clear that people needed to delay their trip home in order to be here in case there was a need to vote,” Cornyn said. “That’s why we were all in town.”
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said she was not encouraging objections but that she would “support” them.
“I think people don’t want the day to pass without registering concerns,” she told reporters Friday. “In some cases, members are concerned about voter suppression, in some cases they are concerned about Russian influence on our election. There are a number of concerns. But it’s not going to have an impact at the end of the day.”
Every objection must be made in writing and signed by one member of the House and one senator.
In 2001, when Democrats objected after the contested election between George Bush and Vice President Al Gore, no senator joined an objection then either. During that process, Gore, as vice-president, presided over the process.