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McConnell congratulates Biden on election victory, draws criticism from some conservatives

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Tuesday after the Electoral College elected them Monday, saying that “[t]he Electoral College has spoken”.

This is the first time that the influential Kentucky Republican acknowledged their 2020 election victory and comes as President Donald Trump and his allies refuse to concede, even after the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday struck down a case that had been seen as a last-ditch attempt from Texas and other states to overturn the results in a few swing states that went for Biden.

RELATED: Case Denied: Supreme Court Declines to Hear Texas Complaint

“Yesterday electors met in all 50 states. So as of this morning, our country has officially a president-elect and a vice president-elect,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday.

“Our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on Jan. 20. The Electoral College has spoken,” he said. “So today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.”

McConnell also offered some warm words to Biden and Harris, saying that the former is “no stranger to the Senate, he’s devoted himself to public service for many years.” The longtime Republican leader also acknowledged the history made by Harris being elected as the first female vice president, remarking, “Beyond our differences, all Americans can take pride that our nation has a female vice president-elect for the very first time.”

While McConnell said many Americans had hoped the election would produce a different result, saying that “many of us hoped that the presidential election would yield a different result, but our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on January 20.”

He also praised President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, listing GOP victories from the past four years, including things such as the 2017 tax cuts and the confirmation of three Supreme Court justices.

“The outsider who swore he would shake up Washington and lead our country to new accomplishments, both at home and abroad, proceeded to do exactly that,” McConnell said of the outgoing president.

The White House was informed that the top Senate Republican would be delivering the remarks he gave on Tuesday in his floor speech, two people familiar with the process told The Wall Street Journal.

Additionally, McConnell’s statement comes after other top Senate Republicans on Monday acknowledged their election victory following the Electoral College’s certification.

On a Tuesday conference call, McConnell and others in the Republican leadership reportedly urged their fellow Republicans to not to engage in any attempts to object to certifying Biden’s election win in the January 6 joint session of Congress, two sources on the call told Axios in a Tuesday report.

Many conservative figures across Twitter reacted angrily to McConnell and other top Senate Republicans acknowledging Biden’s victory, with some figures using profanity, such as Ron Perlman.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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GOP bill proposes extra measures to ensure noncitizens are unable to vote in federal elections

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GOP members of both the U.S. House and Senate introduced a bill to add safeguards to ensure that non U.S. citizens who are already prohibited from voting in federal elections, do not do so. The bill seeks to amend the National Voter Registration Act to require documentary proof of United States citizenship to register to vote.

The Center Square reports that It would require states to obtain proof of citizenship – in person – when registering an individual to vote. Applicants would have to provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote in person, when applying for a motor vehicle license, and when applying to vote by mail. The bill lists accepted citizenship documentation and requirements for voter registration agencies.

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, led a coalition of 49 Republicans to introduce the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act in the U.S. House. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, with several cosponsors, introduced the same bill in the Senate.

Citing the border crisis and the greatest number of foreign nationals illegally entering the country in U.S. history, the measure’s supporters expressed alarm that instead of being deported, many are being registered to vote.

“There is currently an unprecedented and a clear and present danger to the integrity of our election system,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said. “And that is the threat of non-citizens and illegal aliens voting in our elections. In the last five and a half months or so, I’ve been to over 101 cities doing events all around the country in more than half the states. The first or second question that I’m asked in every public forum is about election security. Americans are deeply concerned about this. And it doesn’t matter where you live or whether you’re in a blue state or a red state, everyone’s concerned.”

Johnson blamed President Joe Biden and his administration’s policies for for what he described as widespread concern about election integrity.

“… we now have so many non-citizens in the country that if only one out of 100 of those voted, they would cast hundreds of thousands of votes,” the speaker added. “And since our elections are so razor thin in these days that we’re in, just a few precincts in a few states decide the makeup of Congress and who is elected to the White House. This is a dangerously high number, and it’s a great concern to millions and millions of Americans. It could obviously change the outcome of our elections, and this is not an empty threat or concern.”

It is already a federal crime for non-citizens to vote in a federal election. Despite this, Johnson said, “no current mechanism to ensure only those registering or voting are actually citizens. … If a nefarious actor wants to intervene in our elections, all they have to do is check a box on a form and sign their name. That’s it. That’s all that’s required. And there’s a very small chance that illegal would get caught [because] states do not have the election infrastructure in place to confirm what they’ve said.”

Johnson said noncitizens “can simply go to their local welfare office or the DMV and register to vote there,” adding that “states are currently prohibited from asking someone to prove that they’re a citizen when they use the federal voter registration form.”

He also gave examples of “a growing number of localities” that are “blurring the lines for non-citizens by allowing them to vote in municipal local elections.

“You might not know this, but non-citizens are voting,” he warned Americans. “Democrats have expressed a desire to turn on citizens and voters. That’s what this open border has been all about.”

Roy said the proposed SAVE Act “would thwart Democrat efforts to cement one-party rule by upholding and strengthening current law that permits only U.S. citizens to vote in Federal elections.”

Lee said the bill should “pass right away” and unanimously in both houses of Congress. “The only reason to oppose this … would be if you want noncitizens to vote.”

It also would create a new program requiring the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration to share information with state registration systems. States would be required to identify noncitizens attempting to register to vote by accessing data in DHS’ Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program and the SSA’s Social Security Number Verification Service. The information would be compared with data from state agencies that supply state identification cards or driver’s licenses.

The bill also would require states to remove non-citizens from existing voter rolls and increases federal penalties for those who register non-citizens to vote in federal elections.

 

 

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