Bipartisan Group of Senators Including Collins, King: Voters Have Spoken, Congress Must Fulfill Responsibility

On January 3, 2021

US Capitol, photo by Ramona du Houx

U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) joined Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) to issue the following statement on the upcoming Congressional certification of the 2020 Presidential election results:  

“The 2020 election is over. All challenges through recounts and appeals have been exhausted. At this point, further attempts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential election are contrary to the clearly expressed will of the American people and only serve to undermine Americans’ confidence in the already determined election results. The voters have spoken, and Congress must now fulfill its responsibility to certify the election results. In two weeks, we will begin working with our colleagues and the new Administration on bipartisan, common sense solutions to the enormous challenges facing our country. It is time to move forward.”

Sen. King, independently also released this statement, emphasizing the dangers created by President Trump and his Congressional allies who continue to launch a “ceaseless barrage of lies and unfounded charges” and undermine Americans’ faith in our nation’s democratic systems:

“We are experiencing one of the most serious assaults upon our country’s democratic system in American history. The President and a growing number of his Congressional enablers are plotting to overturn a legitimate election result, while simultaneously urging their supporters to take to the streets around the Capitol this week to intimidate or worse. These efforts are profoundly unpatriotic and stand no chance of succeeding, but their certain outcome is the undermining of the faith of Americans in their democratic system – and dividing our people for short-term personal or partisan gain.

“The President lost the election, decisively. He and his supporters have had two months to demonstrate otherwise—through recounts, lawsuits, and ballot challenge procedures in each state. None of these challenges have resulted in any finding of fraud or miscounting of ballots. None. And yet, with each passing day, the allegations grow more shrill, the misinformation more intense, the threats more explicit.

“Allegations do not prove fraud, evidence does, and such evidence has simply not been produced by the President or his allies. This utter failure of proof has been confirmed by the President’s hand-picked Attorney General, the nation’s election security agency, more than 60 judges, Secretaries of State in every state, and thousands of election workers across the country, Republicans and Democrats.

“But sadly, it is the president’s ceaseless barrage of lies and unfounded charges that have taken root among his supporters, to the point where some polls show that over 70% of Republicans now believe that the election was illegitimate. This dangerous, baseless campaign is a tear in the fabric of our democracy that will take decades to heal and will make it difficult, if not impossible, to come together and deal with the real issues confronting us—starting with the pandemic which is now killing more Americans every day than we lost on 9/11.

“It has become a cliché, but our democracy really is an experiment, and a pretty short one at that. What’s normal in world history are kings, dictators, pharaohs, czars, warlords and tyrants of all stripes—and the people are at their mercy. What we have—government of the people, by the people, for the people—is very unusual, and very fragile. It rests upon trust—in facts, in courts, in honest public officials, and, yes, in elections. Without that trust, all is chaos and the peaceful transfer of power that has marked our nation as rare in world history can readily give way to violence.

“It’s tough to lose an election, but in America, there is always another one coming in a few years where the outcome can be reversed—by the simple expedient of making your case and earning more votes.

“President-Elect Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20th. Those who support incendiary, cynical actions to undermine this are putting partisan and political interests above the Constitution and are inflicting untold harm upon the heart of our democratic process.”

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