Congress early Thursday morning confirmed President-elect Joe Biden's election win, marking the final step in affirming Biden's election ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration. The formal affirmation of his victory followed hours of riots that turned deadly and briefly placed the Capitol building on lockdown as pro-Trump supported breached the building.
At 3:41 a.m. ET, Vice President Mike Pence Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris winners after lawmakers formally tabulated each state's Electoral College votes, with the Democratic ticket winning 306 votes over President Donald Trump's 232, The Hill reports. Shortly after the president, released a statement through a White House social media account after his own account was temporarily suspended, acknowledging his loss. In the statement, the president said, "Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless, there will be an orderly transition on January 20th."
The certification came after hours of violent riots on Capitol Hill that left the Capitol building damaged, four people dead, and Americans across the country shocked. The riots had started as a Save America March earlier in the day, with the president told his supporters, "we are going to walk down to the Capitol." The president's supporters, estimated in the thousands, then moved to the Capitol building, where they pushed through barricades, climbed walls, and eventually breached the building, something that had not happened since the War of 1812. The siege prompted the Capitol to be placed on lockdown, with lawmakers sheltering in place. Amid the flurry of chaos, Senate aides managed to grab the Electoral College certificates, something applauded by many congressmen. Responding authorities eventually cleared the scene, making numerous arrests.
Despite the chaos that had lasted for hours, party leaders in both chambers decided that delaying the certification of electoral votes would deliver the message that the mob had won. Instead, they reconvened, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a speech delivered from the Senate floor, stating, "The United States Senate will not be intimidated. We will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs or threats. We will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her own remarks said, "We must and we will show to the country — and indeed to the world — that we will not be diverted from our duty, that we will respect our responsibility to the Constitution and to the American people." Biden will take the Oath of Office on Jan. 20.