The vice president, the statement continued, “welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people on Jan. 6th.”
In a joint statement on Saturday, the Senate Republicans — including seven senators and four who are to be sworn in on Sunday — called for a 10-day audit of election returns in “disputed states,” and said they would vote to reject the electors from those states until one was completed. They did not elaborate on which states.
The group is led by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and includes Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Steve Daines of Montana, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Mike Braun of Indiana, and Senators-elect Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama.
Together with Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, who announced this week that he would object to Congress’s certification of the election results, they bring to nearly one-quarter the proportion of Senate Republicans who have broken with their leaders to join the effort to invalidate Mr. Biden’s victory. In the House, where a band of conservatives has been plotting the last-ditch election objection for weeks, more than half of Republicans joined a failed lawsuit seeking to overturn the will of the voters, and more are expected to support the effort to challenge the results in Congress next week.
Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama, has said he will object to certifying the results, and with Mr. Hawley’s support, that challenge would hold weight, prompting senators and representatives to retreat to their chambers on opposite sides of the Capitol for a two-hour debate and then a vote on whether to disqualify a state’s votes. Both the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate would have to agree to toss out a state’s electoral votes — something that has not happened since the 19th century and is not expected to this time.
In their statement, the Republicans cited poll results showing most members of their party believe the election was “rigged,” an assertion that Mr. Trump has made for months, and which has been repeated in the right-wing news media and by many Republican members of Congress.
“A fair and credible audit — conducted expeditiously and completed well before Jan. 20 — would dramatically improve Americans’ faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next president,” they wrote. “We are acting not to thwart the democratic process, but rather to protect it.”