Editor’s update: Domestic terrorists, egged on by President Donald Trump at a rally earlier in the day, stormed the U.S. Capitol and disrupted the transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden, forcing the lockdown of Congress.
Colorado lawmakers are making headlines nationwide as the future of American democracy is debated in Washington, D.C. today and a pair of Georgia runoff elections on Tuesday appear to have handed control of the U.S. Senate to Democrats.
U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, the first African-American congressman from Colorado, will play a lead role in what should be the perfunctory counting by a joint session of Congress of the electoral votes certifying the decisive and legitimate 306-232 Electoral College victory of President-elect Joe Biden over President Donald Trump on Nov. 3.
More than 50 Trump campaign legal challenges to the Nov. 3 election have been rejected by courts around the country, with no evidence presented of widespread election fraud or issues that would have changed the results.
Neguse (see press release below), who represents several Front Range cities, Summit County and the eastern third of Eagle County in Congress, is part of a team of House Democrats charged with countering false Republican claims of election fraud.
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican who also heads up the Colorado Republican Party, has rejected the rogue Republican bid to overturn the legitimate U.S. presidential election, saying in a Washington Post column on Wednesday that it undermines the Electoral College itself. Colorado in November voted to join the National Popular Vote Compact.
U.S. Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert, a Republican elected Nov. 3 to represent the majority of Colorado’s Western Slope, including the western two-thirds of Eagle County, is backing Trump’s bid to subvert the results of the election that sent her to Washington – challenging the legitimacy of Biden’s presidency.
Biden won the Electoral College by the same margin Trump did in 2016 – a result Trump called a landslide — and the former U.S. senator from Delaware and vice president under President Barack Obama won the popular vote by a massive margin of more than 7 million votes nationwide.
The Aspen City Council on Tuesday drafted a letter to Boebert sharply criticizing and questioning her efforts to overturn the presidential election results. Boebert has been drawing the attention of D.C. police for possibly violating local gun laws while simultaneously raising eyebrows for saying the Second Amendments is all about “hunting tyrants.”
D.C. police and National Guard troops are bracing for violence Wednesday as armed Trump supporters, stoked by the president’s false claims of rigged election, are converging on Washington.
Vice President Mike Pence, a former senator from Indiana, plays a role as the Senate president charged with counting the Electoral College votes. Trump has been pressuring Pence, who spent the holidays in Vail, to step outside of that role and violate the Constitution by somehow throwing out Biden’s legitimate election victory — a move that would disenfranchise the more than 81 million voters who chose Biden-Harris over Trump-Pence.
While the contrast between CD2 Rep. Neguse and CD3 Rep. Boebert could not be more distinct during the ongoing debate over the future of democracy in America, the election on Tuesday of the first African-American senator from the deep South, Rev. Raphael Warnock in Georgia, may underscore that divide even more dramatically if Democrats regain control of the Senate.
Democrat John Ossoff was leading by 17,000 votes Wednesday morning in the other Georgia Senate runoff race, and if he wins, Democrats and Republicans would each hold 50 seats, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tiebreaking votes for Democrats.
The future of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act (CORE) – a decade-long wilderness bill championed first by then-Congressman Jared Polis and now by Neguse – hangs in the balance, with current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refusing to bring the House-passed bill to a vote. Boebert has called CORE Act a federal land grab.
Here’s the press release from Neguse:
Congressman Joe Neguse Named To Team of Lawmakers Who Will Lead Debate on the Electoral College
Washington D.C.—Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has named Congressman Joe Neguse to a team of lawmakers who will lead debate in the House today over the Electoral College results. The team consists of four lawmakers, Congressman Joe Neguse, Congressman Adam Schiff, Congressman Jamie Raskin and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.
“The state delegations and our leaders – Representatives Zoe Lofgren, Jamie Raskin, Adam Schiff and Joe Neguse – have been working on our Democratic presentation of the Constitutional, historical and thematic justification for respecting the will of the people,” wrote Speaker Pelosi in a letter to her colleagues outlining procedure for the joint session. “On the Floor of the House, we will have a civics lesson about protecting the integrity of our democracy.”
The joint session of Congress is scheduled to convene Wednesday at 1:00pm ET/ 11:00am MT to certify the election results. If Republicans bring a challenge to a state, the House and Senate will then split into separate sessions to debate. Proceedings can be viewed on CSPAN.
Colorado Democrats issued the following press release on Wednesday:
Ahead of Congressional Vote to Certify 2020 Election Results, Colorado Dems Condemn Boebert, Lamborn’s Planned Objections
Denver, CO – Ahead of today’s Congressional Vote to certify the 2020 Presidential Election Results, the Colorado Democratic Party released the following statement on Lauren Boebert and Doug Lamborn’s baseless plans to object today:
Morgan Carroll, Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party:
“After more than 50 lawsuits, countless audits, and numerous recounts, courts at every level and nonpartisan election officials all across the country came to the same, indisputable conclusion: Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, and on January 20, he will be sworn in as our 46th president. Yet, Boebert and Lamborn continue to embarrass themselves by pushing conspiracy theories about supposed ‘voter fraud’ with zero evidence to show for it.
“Trump, Boebert, and Lamborn are trying to overthrow an election because they don’t like the outcome. They are setting a new and dangerous precedent unseen in this nation’s history — to refuse to accept election results if your preferred candidate does not win. This is an affront to our basic principles of democracy, free and fair elections, and it is a waste of the taxpayers’ time and money. Boebert and Lamborn need to do their jobs and actually serve their constituents — not Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani.”
Meanwhile, in stark contrast to Boebert and Lamborn’s undemocratic behavior: