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The Latest: Johnson Insists Vote Challenge Helps Democracy

The court sought the law ministry’s response after going through a statement by the World Health Organisation, which has declared virginity testing as unscientific, medically unnecessary and unreliable.

The court sought the law ministry’s response after going through a statement by the World Health Organisation, which has declared virginity testing as unscientific, medically unnecessary and unreliable.

The Latest on the new session of Congress (all times local):

WASHINGTON: The Latest on the new session of Congress (all times local):

1 p.m.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is calling the effort by Sen. Ted Cruz and other Republican senators to overturn the presidential election a dodge that doesnt go far enough in helping President Donald Trump.

Graham said in a statement Sunday that Cruz has a high bar to show there was evidence of problems with the election. The South Carolina senator also said Cruzs proposal has zero chance of becoming reality.

Cruz of Texas is leading a coalition of 11 GOP senators who vow to challenge the election results unless Congress agrees to launch a commission to investigate the outcome. They and others are prepared to object Wednesday when Congress convenes for a joint session to confirm Bidens 306-232 electoral tally over Trump.

Graham, a top Trump ally, said that approach is not effectively fighting for President Trump. It appears to be more of a political dodge than an effective remedy.

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HERES WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW CONGRESS

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WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

12:15 p.m.

The 117th U.S. Congress is beginning as the House and Senate have gaveled in to swear in new members.

Both chambers are holding rare Sunday sessions to open the new Congress on Jan. 3, as the Constitution requires. All members of the House and roughly one-third of the Senate will be sworn in.

Democrat Nancy Pelosi was set to be reelected as House speaker by her party, which retains the majority in the House but with the slimmest margin in 20 years.

Control of the Senate is in question until Tuesdays runoff elections for two Senate seats in Georgia. The outcome will determine which party holds the chamber.

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12:05 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is declining to say much about the effort by a growing number of Republican senators to overturn the presidential election.

McConnell told a reporter Sunday at the Capitol, Well be dealing with all of that on Wednesday.

The Republican leader was referring to this weeks joint session of Congress to confirm the Electoral College tally that Joe Biden won, 306-232, defeating President Donald Trump.

McConnell has privately urged Republicans not to object to the election results. He has said it would force Republicans to essentially choose between Trumps demands and the will of the voters.

A dozen Republican senators, and more Republicans in the House, plan to object on Wednesday.

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11:55 a.m.

Sen. Ted Cruz says Congress has an obligation to ensure the presidential election was lawful, explaining why he and some Republican colleagues will raise objections when Congress meets this week to certify the Electoral College vote.

He tells Fox News Channels Sunday Morning Futures that the aim is to restore Americans confidence in our electoral system.

Numerous federal and state officials have said the election was conducted fairly and without evidence of fraud on a scale so grand that it would have altered the outcome.

Democratic President-elect Joe Biden defeated Republican President Donald Trump by some 7 million popular votes and 306-232 votes in the Electoral College.

Trump has refused to accept his loss and continues to falsely claim the election was stolen.

Groups of House and Senate Republicans plan to vote against certain state electors on Wednesday, but it will not halt Bidens swearing-in as president at noon on Jan. 20.

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11:15 a.m.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley is hitting back at GOP colleagues who are criticizing his attempt to overturn the presidential election won by Joe Biden.

In a lengthy email, the Missouri Republican defended his rationale for challenging President Donald Trumps defeat. He and other Republicans are planning to mount objections to the results when Congress convenes for a joint session Wednesday to confirm the Electoral College tally.

Hawley specifically defended himself against criticism from GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania as he challenges that states election results.

Hawley, a Trump ally and potential 2024 presidential candidate, insisted that constituents back home have been loud and clear that they believe Bidens win over Trump was unfair.

It is my responsibility as a senator to raise their concerns, Hawley wrote late Saturday.

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10:30 a.m.

Sen. Ron Johnson is insisting that the extraordinary effort by congressional Republicans to challenge Joe Bidens presidential victory is not intended to thwart the democratic process but to protect it.

In an interview with NBCs Meet the Press, the Wisconsin senator pointed to an unsustainable state of affairs where he claimed that many people in the country dont accept the election as legitimate. He contends that more transparency is needed to restore confidence in results that states and the Electoral College have certified.

A group of 11 senators led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas say they will reject the Electoral College results during a joint session Wednesday unless a commission is appointed to conduct a 10-day audit of the vote. They are zeroing in on the states where President Donald Trump has raised founded claims of voter fraud.

Johnson isnt offering new evidence of voting problems. And he does acknowledge that Trumps former attorney general, William Barr, found no evidence of widespread election fraud. Multiple lawsuits filed by Trumps legal team have been repeatedly dismissed, by the Supreme Court and by Trump-appointed judges who have ruled the suits lacked evidence.

When Johnson insisted that tens of millions of people believe the presidential election was stolen, NBCs Chuck Todd suggested that Johnson look in the mirror as to why that is. Todd cut off Johnsons unsubstantiated assertions.

Todd told Johnson: You dont get to make these allegations that havent been proven true.

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8 a.m.

The start of the new congressional session on Sunday comes during a tumultuous period in U.S. history.

A growing number of Republicans are working to overturn Joe Bidens victory over President Donald Trump, and a surge of coronavirus infections is imposing limits at the Capitol.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi is set to be reelected as House speaker by fellow Democrats, who retain the House majority but with the slimmest margin in 20 years.

Opening the Senate could be among Mitch McConnells final acts as majority leader. Republican control depends on Tuesdays runoff elections for two Senate seats in Georgia.

Its often said that divided government can be a time for legislative compromises, but lawmakers are charging into the 117th Congress with the nation more torn than ever, disputing even basic facts including that Biden won the presidential election.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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