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Politics

These Central Texas Members Of Congress Objected To Certifying Biden's Victory

Supporters of President Trump gather in downtown Austin in front of the state Capitol on Wednesday to protest the Electoral College certification of President-elect Biden's victory.
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT
Supporters of President Trump gather in front of the state Capitol in downtown Austin on Wednesday to protest the Electoral College certification of Joe Biden's victory.

Sen. Ted Cruz and 16 members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas objected to the certification of Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

Four of those Republican lawmakers represent parts of Central Texas. Their efforts failed as Congress certified Biden's presidential win after a pro-Trump mob breached the U.S. Capitol.

Two other local GOP congressmen, Reps. Michael McCaul and Chip Roy, declined to join their colleagues' attempt to challenge the election results.

Here's what the representatives had to say about their votes:

Rep. John Carter, whose District 31 includes Williamson County, said in a Tuesday morning tweet that he believes "it’s critical for the future of our democracy that a full forensic #audit is done before we certify the electoral college vote. I will defend America."

RELATED | Central Texas Representatives Condemn Pro-Trump Extremists' Violence At Nation's Capitol

Rep. Michael Cloud, whose 27th Congressional District stretches from Bastrop and Caldwell counties toward the Gulf Coast, said in a statement posted on Twitter on Wednesday morning that he would object because judges and election officials in the contested states made changes to their election process without going through their state legislatures. (Texas, which was not contested, did the same — by expanding the timeframe for early voting.)

Rep. Pete Sessions, whose 17th District — formerly held by Bill Flores — includes parts of North Austin and Pflugerville, also objected to the certification. "America needs to be one of rule of law and of instant replay with a close call," Sessions said in a statement on Twitter posted Monday. "If we neglect to challenge the states in question, whomever gets the presidency will be seen in a different light."

Rep. Roger Williams, whose 25th District includes parts of East Austin, western Travis County and Hay County, defended his decision objecting to the certification in an email early Thursday. "In no way is voicing an objection an attempt to overturn an election, and when this process is complete and all objections have been heard, I acknowledge that we will have a peaceful transfer of power on January 20, 2021," he said.

“It’s pivotal that we have free and fair elections in our representative democracy, and more importantly, that we trust in the results of those elections. In no way is voicing an objection an attempt to overturn an election, and when this process is complete and all objections have been heard, I acknowledge that we will have a peaceful transfer of power on January 20, 2021. Faith in our system must be restored and Americans must be confident that their vote matters, and only lawful votes will be counted. Yesterday was a sad day in our nation’s history, but a solemn reminder that our country will not falter and will not fail.”

These Central Texas members of Congress voted to certify the Electoral College count

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, the area's only Democrat in Congress, condemned Republicans' attempt to overturn the results. "Democracy matters. The people, not politicians, choose who leads us," he said in a tweet Wednesday morning.

Rep. Michael McCaul, whose District 10 stretches across northern Travis County, warned his Republican colleagues about what their vote meant for the future of the country. "If Congress chooses to ignore or second-guess the electoral votes cast by the States, it will set a dangerous precedent that could call into question the very institution of our democracy," he said in a statement tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

Rep. Chip Roy, whose district includes South Austin and stretches down the I-35 corridor and into the Hill Country, received a standing ovation from Democrats as he outlined why he would not object to the certification in a Wednesday night speech on the House floor.

"I will not be voting to reject the electors," Roy said, "and that vote may well sign my political death warrant. But so be it. I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and I will not bend its words into contortions for personal political expediency."

Correction: Sixteen members of the U.S. House from Texas objected to the certification, not 15.

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