MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s Republican congressional delegation is split over whether to confirm the Electoral College vote won by Joe Biden, with at least two planning to object Wednesday and one saying such a move would go down a “dangerous path.”
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and Rep. Tom Tiffany plan to object, while Rep. Mike Gallagher said he won’t and has urged other Republicans to join him. Wisconsin’s three other Republicans in Congress — Bryan Steil, Glenn Grothman and Scott Fitzgerald — have not said whether they will object and did not immediately respond to messages left ahead of the vote.
Biden defeated Trump by nearly 21,000 votes in Wisconsin, an outcome that withstood a recount of votes cast in Milwaukee and Dane counties as well as numerous court challenges.
Johnson is among a group of Republican senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who have vowed to object to the certification of Biden’s presidential victory unless Congress forms a commission to investigate the election. That’s a reversal for Johnson, who last month called the election legitimate and said he would not object to the Electoral College count.
Tiffany, who was elected last year to represent northern Wisconsin’s expansive 7th Congressional District, said on Tuesday that he, too, would object.
“And while I take no pleasure in casting this vote, this is the last option that remains to protect the rights of millions of Wisconsin voters who cast legal ballots,” Tiffany said in a statement.
Gallagher, who endorsed Trump and campaigned for him in and around his home in Green Bay, has been outspoken in his opposition to objecting.
“I have found real deficiencies in our voting processes in Wisconsin that must be fixed,” Gallagher wrote in a piece posted Wednesday on the website of the conservative magazine the National Review. “Nonetheless, Joe Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes, and that margin has survived multiple court challenges.”
Gallagher said rejecting Biden’s win in Wisconsin would also mean Congress would have to reject the outcomes of their own elections, since they were on the same ballots, even after they have taken the oath of office.
“That creates a real dilemma: How can Congress vote to decertify the results of the very election that created it?” Gallagher wrote. “The argument from the objectors renders the entire federal government inert. Like a snake eating its own tail, would we even exist as a Congress in this paradoxical scenario?”
By even having the debate, Gallagher said, “The objectors are going down a dangerous path of vast federal overreach.”
Allowing the federal government, rather than voters, to choose the president “is a recipe for Republican defeat in future elections,” Gallagher said.
The longshot objection effort is all but certain to fail, defeated by bipartisan majorities in Congress prepared to accept the results. Biden, who won the Electoral College 306-232, is set to be inaugurated Jan. 20.