A top Senate Republican on Monday warned members of his party not to challenge the electoral college results when both chambers of Congress meet next month to officially tally them.
â€œI think that would be a bad mistake,â€ Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) told reporters at the Capitol on Monday afternoon when asked about a possible GOP effort to object to the results.
â€œI think there comes a time when you have to realize that despite your best efforts, youâ€™ve been unsuccessful. Thatâ€™s sort of the nature of these elections,â€ Cornyn said. He added: â€œI just hope they realize that it would be futile and itâ€™s unnecessary.â€
At least one Trump ally, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), has suggested he will try to use an 1880s law that allows members of Congress to challenge a stateâ€™s results during the Jan. 6 tally and make the whole Congress vote on whether to accept the results.
To do so, however, one senator would have to join in Brooksâ€™s effort. So far, no senator has publicly declared that they would, although Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) have reportedly declined to rule it out.
Cornyn also on Monday inched closer to calling Biden â€œpresident-elect,â€ telling reporters that the title is warranted â€œsubject to whatever additional litigation is ongoing.â€ But he declined to call on other Republicans to use the term, saying, â€œIâ€™ll leave that up to each individual.â€
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) also signaled he is prepared to call Biden president-elect.
â€œWell, I mean, once somebody gets 270 [electoral votes] — I understand theyâ€™re ruling right now, but I think thatâ€™s the process we have, yes,” Thune told reporters.
Asked whether he has any doubts, Thune replied, â€œAs soon as he crosses the 270-vote threshold, I mean there are still a couple of, I guess, last steps in the process, but in my view thatâ€™s how in this country we decide presidential elections. Thatâ€™s our Constitution, and I believe in following the Constitution.â€
Thune, too, was dismissive of any effort to challenge the votes on Jan. 6. While there are â€œpeople who feel strongly about the outcome of this election,â€ at some point, â€œyou have to face the music,â€ Thune said, adding that “once the electoral college settles the issue today, itâ€™s time for everybody to move on.â€
â€œItâ€™s their prerogative. Itâ€™s allowed for in the Constitution. But itâ€™s not going anywhere,â€ he said of a potential challenge on Jan. 6. â€œItâ€™s an opportunity for people to vent and protest, but in the end, we have a clear way of determining a president, those steps have been adhered to, theyâ€™ve been followed.â€