A dozen Republican members of Florida’s U.S. House Delegation ultimately voted against certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Nevertheless, the attempt to block the win hours after pro-Donald Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol failed.
All Democrats in Florida’s congressional delegation voted to certify all electoral votes submitted by states. But most of Florida’s Republican Representatives voted no on certifying slates of electors for both Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Voting in favor of objections to both slates were Reps. Kat Cammack, Mario Diaz-Balart, Byron Donalds, Neal Dunn, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Carlos Giminez, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Greg Steube and Dan Webster.
Three members of Florida’s delegation could not attend the certification of the Electoral College. COVID-19 sidelined Republican Reps. Gus Bilirakis and Maria Salazar, and Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings, who is being treated for pancreatic cancer, also missed the vote.
The votes closed the end to a chaotic series of events for what’s normally a clerical function of Congress. During the debate over objection to Arizona’s vote, rioters breached the Capitol resulting in one protester’s death and 53 arrests. It disrupted the certification of votes for several hours. That came after Trump, in a speech in front of the White House, directed supporters to go to the Capitol.
Trump later posted a video online telling rioters to “go home” but reiterated repeatedly debunked assertions Biden stole the election.
“I know your pain. I know your hurt,” Trump said. “We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election. Everyone knows it, especially the other side. You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order.”
The series of events prompted one Florida Congressman, Rep. Michael Waltz, to change how he planned to vote on certifying the election results.
“Objecting was supposed to serve as a forum to peacefully debate among my colleagues and raise these serious issues that deserve scrutiny,” Waltz said. “However, with today’s despicable display of violence and intimidation on Capitol Hill, we must move on to ensure a peaceful transfer of power and certify the presidential election.”
Rep. Vern Buchanan, of Sarasota, was the only other Florida Republican present in the House to vote in favor of certifying the election results. He issued a statement condemning the riots.
“The powder keg of discontent has been brewing for months following a close presidential election,” Buchanan said. “Millions of Americans expressed legitimate concern over voting procedures that were changed by several states. Those voters, many in my district, certainly had good reason to be alarmed and concerned. But after witnessing the sad spectacle that occurred today, I voted to certify the results of the Electoral College because it’s time to move past this election.”
Other Republicans condemned the violence but held to plans to vote down electors in every state where a Senator joined with a challenge.
“The people who invaded Capitol Hill today do not embody my constituents’ values and heart, and they will not alter my decision to object to the Electoral College certification,” Donalds tweeted before the vote.
In addition to impacting how some House members voted, the riots appeared to alter the course of Senate objectors dramatically. More than a dozen senators initially intended to participate in challenges for at least a half-dozen states. But when riots disrupted the first debates on Arizona, Senators who had agreed to join in challenges pulled out of most. Ultimately, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley joined with a challenge to Pennsylvania’s electors.
Florida’s two Republican senators split on one of the states, but both voted to certify enough electors to guarantee Biden won. Sen. Marco Rubio voted to certify all states’ electors. Sen. Rick Scott voted to challenge Pennsylvania but not Arizona or any other state. There was no formal debate held on Pennsylvania, and Rubio gave a speech after the riots condemning the undemocratic actions.
Rep. Ted Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat, said the right side prevailed despite the chaos sewn.
“The end of a long, hard day,” he tweeted around 4 a.m. Thursday. “We would not be prevented from doing our job. Neither the President nor his enablers or violent supporters could delay democracy’s march forward. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will soon be President and Vice President. Because they won the election.”
January 7, 2021 at 8:55 am
Those representatives stilll supporting conspiracy theories need fired
January 7, 2021 at 9:02 am
Every damn one of these goptrump death cult shall be ARRESTED! Rutherford you are a paranoid delusional racist sexist liar! Rutherford you are brainwashed and braindead! Get out Rutherford’
James M. Mejuto
January 7, 2021 at 9:11 am
Just the fact a dozen Florida Representatives voted against
certifying Biden’s victory should tell all Florida voters there
is a lot of work ahead of us to rid this State of Republican
legislators. Too long, this State has been under the control of
Republicans, while nothing has been done to make our lives better.
Sanely, Congress certified our next President.
January 7, 2021 at 9:54 am
I am ashamed to be a Floridian with so many US congressmen and women from FL cravenly voting to defy our constitution. Rick Scott , like Trump, should be censured.
January 7, 2021 at 10:51 am
Good job, Floriduh voters.
January 7, 2021 at 12:00 pm
I feel so bad right now to know that this is the way Republicans act no respect I will never ever look at the Republican Party the same as I have I am so proud to be a Democrat we love one another we respect one another Republicans do not they have hate in anger may God bless you because you’re gonna need helping
January 7, 2021 at 12:15 pm
Let’s remember them in the ballot box.
January 7, 2021 at 2:52 pm
Rick Scott and Matt Gaetz have NO Right To Accuse Anyone of Breaking the Law,Cheating,or Manipulating with Their Past They should Never Have Been Able To Hold Any Public Office.
January 7, 2021 at 3:38 pm
Have bookmarked their names and they will be reminded of this day when it is time for re-election. They should all be ashamed of themselves for swearing on a bible to defend the constitution. I bet they all failed Civics.
January 8, 2021 at 6:39 am
This article does not list their names?
January 8, 2021 at 9:47 pm
Every one of these pathetic office holders carry the words “The Honorable” in their official title. Honorable? Anything but.
January 9, 2021 at 7:18 pm
Rick Scott is the worst thing to ever happen to Florida and Brian Mast of District 16 a veteran needs to read the constitution again as with the rest of these traitors of the oath they take is to uphold the constitution, not party or a BUFFOON.
January 11, 2021 at 1:40 pm
None of the Republicans are taking any responsibility in what happened. Even after years of pumping out inflammatory rhetoric. I want to know how much they knew and what they did to stop it?
Rep. Steube, district 23, is ex-military, tight with police, and is still definitely defending himself. Focus on arrests in the his district. Follow the money of the caravan out of the Sarasota area… my gut there is something there…
Dr. Don Maes
January 11, 2021 at 9:13 pm
After all of the lawsuits concerning the certification of the election results, how can any sane legislator vote against acceptance of the electoral votes? When our judicial system has rejected unfounded claims of massive irregularities how can legislators vote disagreement with the results? If they don’t believe in the rule of law they have no business in Washington.
The results are pretty clear – there are more citizens supporting the Democratic ticket than the Republican ticket. They won the majority of votes in 2016 and again in 2020. The major difference is that the electoral votes went towards the Democrats this time. And Joe Biden rightly figured out that getting out the vote was his path to the presidency.
The obvious question as citizens is what should we do when our legislators are not making sane decisions? Re-calls are one approach, or vote them out in 2 years is the other approach.
January 13, 2021 at 2:16 pm
I AM ASHAMED TO BE A RESIDENT OF FLORIDA, WE ARE A LAUGHING STOCK AND A JOKE. I recognize most of these faces. These are the faces of Rick Scott and Matt Gaetz that never should have been elected. Rick Scott cheated the people of Florida when he broke the law and had to pay restitution. Matt Gaetz broke the law many times but daddy was always there. I’ve marched on Rutherfords’office a couple of times in Jacksonville for good reasons. Google all of them..We have honest people that haven’t broken the law to elect in Florida. The voters in Duval County turned red to blue last election. Let’s work together to get it right next election.
January 13, 2021 at 8:58 pm
This Florida resident will never vote for another Republican. Never again, no matter what. Not ever. Too much has been revealed about the party and their motivations. I know there is corruption on both sides. But the GOP is a joke.
I cannot believe they continue to ignore the facts and endorse lies no matter what the consequences. Party over country just doesn’t work for me.
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