NEW ORLEANS — Five Congress members from Louisiana voted against certifying some states’ Electoral College votes overnight, hours after four people died in a “failed insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol building.
The group includes one of the state’s two Republican senators and every Republican House representative on Louisiana’s congressional delegation.
- Sen. John Kennedy
- Rep. Steve Scalise
- Rep. Clay Higgins
- Rep. Mike Johnson
- Rep. Garret Graves
In the aftermath, several other Republicans announced they would drop their objections to the election, including Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., who lost her bid for reelection Tuesday. The votes against certification were mostly symbolic because Republicans never had enough votes to overcome a bipartisan majority and change the results.
Reps. Scalise, Higgins, and Johnson voted for both objections to the certification of electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania. Sen. Kennedy voted for the objection to Arizona but not Pennsylvania. Rep. Graves voted for the objection to Pennsylvania but not Arizona.
As of Thursday afternoon, most of the members had not issued a public statement regarding their vote since casting it.
Sen Kennedy said in a statement that he went to the Capitol Wednesday to give a voice to Louisianians who were concerned about election integrity.
"I joined several Senate colleagues in calling for a bipartisan commission to inspect election issues raised across the country," Kennedy said. "Our proposal was not successful, but our goal to ensure full confidence and transparency in our elections - for all Americans - is a noble one, and I'll keep pursuing it."
A spokesperson for Scalise's office referred WWL-TV to a statement the House minority whip released before Capitol was stormed.
Sen. Bill Cassidy joined Rep. Cedric Richmond, the sole Democrat in Louisiana's congressional delegation, in voting against all of the objections.
Experts on far-right extremism say the storming of the U.S. Capitol is a jarring but natural product of years of violence and hateful rhetoric stoked by disinformation and conspiracy theories.
A violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and forced lawmakers into hiding, in a stunning attempt to overturn America’s presidential election, undercut the nation’s democracy and keep Democrat Joe Biden from replacing Trump in the White House.
The nation’s elected representatives scrambled to crouch under desks and don gas masks, while police futilely tried to barricade the building, one of the most jarring scenes ever to unfold in a seat of American political power. A woman was shot and killed inside the Capitol, and Washington’s mayor instituted an evening curfew in an attempt to contain the violence.
The rioters were egged on by Trump, who has spent weeks falsely attacking the integrity of the election and had urged his supporters to descend on Washington to protest Congress’ formal approval of Biden’s victory. Some Republican lawmakers were in the midst of raising objections to the results on his behalf when the proceedings were abruptly halted by the mob.
Congress reconvened in the evening, lawmakers decrying the protests that defaced the Capitol and vowing to finish confirming the Electoral College vote for Biden’s election, even if it took all night. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the “failed insurrection” underscored lawmakers’ duty to finish the count.
Before dawn Thursday, lawmakers completed their work, confirming Biden won the presidential election.
Despite pleas from McConnell, more than 150 GOP lawmakers planned to support objections to some of the results, though lacking evidence of fraud or wrongdoing in the election.
The woman who was killed was part of a crowd that was breaking down the doors to a barricaded room where armed officers stood on the other side, police said. She was shot in the chest by Capitol Police and taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. City police said three other people died from medical emergencies during the long protest on and around the Capitol grounds.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.