The Senate overwhelmingly turned aside challenges to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election, guaranteeing the result will stand.
The objection to the results in Arizona -- spearheaded by Rep. Paul Gosar and Sen. Ted Cruz -- was rejected 93-6 on Wednesday night.
Among those voting against the challenge were Republican Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. The Republicans -- both allies of outgoing President Donald Trump, split, however, on a later vote over a legal challenge to Pennsylvania’s election.
After lawmakers reconvened following a siege on the US Capitol that stalled the proceedings, Scott was among the seven senators who voted to reject Pennsylvania’s electors. Rubio, however, voted not to sustain any objections to states’ electors.
The legal challenge to Pennsylvania’s election, ultimately rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court, hinged in part on a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling in favor of expanding allowable vote-by-mail ballots. Scott contends the move was “in defiance of (Pennsylvania) state law.”
“We simply cannot tolerate partisan political attempts to change the rules and tip the scales in our elections,” Scott wrote in a statement Wednesday.
Rubio and Scott were among a myriad of Florida Republicans who rushed to condemn Wednesday’s violence in the halls of Congress.
During his floor remarks, Rubio said the display made a mockery of U.S. politics and delighted of foreign adversaries.
“China’s laughing. They’re loving this tonight. In Beijing, they’re high-fiving because they point to this and say, ‘This is proof that the future belongs to China. America’s in decline.’ Vladimir Putin? There’s nothing that Vladimir Putin could come up with better than what happened here,” Rubio said. “Makes us look like we’re in total chaos and collapse.”
Here’s what they posted on Twitter earlier in the day:
The thugs who stormed the Capitol today and incited violence should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Every single one of them.— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) January 6, 2021
Thank you to the Capitol Police for your bravery today. I believe Congress should return tonight and finish our work.
All votes in favor of upholding the challenges to the results came from Republicans, but after the mob scene Wednesday, a number of GOP senators who had planned to support the objection reversed course.
Florida Democrats blamed Wednesday’s violence on Republican lawmakers who supported Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud.
“The facts are clear to those not living in a fantasy land: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won this election and it wasn’t especially close. Anyone who chooses to support the contrary is feeding the same delusions spreading from the president that incited yesterday’s violent attempted coup on our U.S. Capitol,” Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said in a prepared statement.
Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo called out Scott as well as the 11 Republican members of the state’s congressional delegation who voted against certifying electors in Arizona and/or Pennsylvania.
“Even after this desecration of the Capitol that put the lives of our Congress members and staff at risk, 12 of the Congressional leaders from Florida voted to invalidate election results from swing states where they didn’t like the outcomes. It is despicable,” Rizzo said in a press release Thursday.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.