Joint session of U.S. Congress certifies Joe Biden's electoral victory over Trump

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are scheduled to be sworn in as the President and Vice President of the country on January 20.

Updated - January 07, 2021 02:46 pm IST

Published - January 07, 2021 02:41 pm IST - Washington

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

A Joint Session of the U.S. Congress on Thursday formally certified the electoral victory of Joe Biden as the next U.S. President and Kamala Harris as the Vice President in the November 3 election.

The formal certification by the Joint Session came in the wee hours of Thursday. The Joint Session which resumed its meeting late on Wednesday night after it was disrupted by hundreds of supporters of incumbent President Donald Trump who violently stormed the Capitol Hill.


The counting of Electoral College votes and its subsequent certification came after an ugly episode of violence inside the U.S. Capitol, resulting in four deaths, wherein Capitol Hill was brought under a lockdown, with lawmakers being taken to safe places, shots were fired inside the Congress and tear gas was used. Former U.S. President, Barack Obama, described it as a moment of great dishonour and shame for the United States.

Mr. Biden, 78, and Ms. Harris, 56, are scheduled to be sworn in as the President and Vice President of the country on January 20. The inauguration is going to be a low-key affair given the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Biden, a Democrat, described the riots in the U.S. Capitol as an "unprecedented assault" on American democracy, and has his task cut out to spend the next four years on his administration to heal and unite a deeply polarised country after the fiercely-fought election.

Presidential elections were held on November 3. Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris won a record number of popular votes, more than 80 millions and earned as many as 306 Electoral College votes.

Mr. Trump, a Republican who has been making unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud, has lost several dozen court cases. On the eve of the meeting of the Joint Session of the Congress, Mr. Trump pressurised his Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results, which Mr. Pence refused.

Mr. Trump fired back by accusing that Mr. Pence lacked courage. Addressing thousands of his supporters in the White House he urged his followers to march to the U.S. Capitol. Hundreds of his supporters turned violent. As they reached the Capitol, they took law into their hands, breached the security and disrupted the constitutional process.


The Joint Session of the Congress resumed the meeting late on Wednesday night which continued till in the wee hours of Thursday wherein the lawmakers across the political aisle united to ensure that the votes are counted and certified. Even then they let the objections of two States – Arizona and Pennsylvania – for the two hours debate each followed by votes.

The Senate voted 93-6 to reject the objection to Arizona's election results, while the House of Representatives rejected it by 303-121 votes.

The Senate voted 92-7 to reject the objection to Pennsylvania's election results, while the House also rejected the objection by 282-138.

The four Indian American lawmakers – Ro Khanna, Ami Bera, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Pramila Jayapala – voted against both the objections.

Mr. Pence, who had remained loyal to the President during the four years of his presidency but had the courage of defy his boss, on Wednesday, said that "the violence never wins. Freedom wins."

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