Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finally congratulated Joe Biden on his election victory more than a month after the November 3 election.
“Many of us hoped that the presidential election would yield a different result, but our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on January 20. The Electoral College has spoken,” McConnell said in a floor speech. “So today, I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.”
Other top Senate Republicans are slowing recognizing Biden as the president-elect after the electoral college affirmed his victory on Monday.
The second most powerful Republican in the Senate, Sen. John Thune told reporters on Monday: “As soon as he crosses the 270-vote threshold (for victory), I mean there are still a couple of, I guess, last steps in the process, but in my view that’s how in this country we decide presidential elections, that’s our Constitution, and I believe in following the Constitution. I understand there are people who feel strongly about the outcome of this election, but in the end at some point you have to face the music. And I think once the electoral college settles the issue today, it’s time for everybody to move on.”
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said in a statement, “the Electoral College vote today makes clear that Joe Biden is now President-Elect.”
“Vice President Biden is the president-elect,” Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo, who chairs the congressional committee in charge of inaugural proceedings, told reporters. His committee would work with Biden, he said, according to USA Today.
West Virginia GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito told reporters, “I think it’s time to turn the page and begin a new administration.”
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said Biden referred to Biden as the “presumptive president” following the Electoral College votes.
Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander said “the presidential election is over” on Monday. “I hope that President Trump will put the country first, take pride in his considerable accomplishments, and help president-elect Biden get off to a good start. Especially during this pandemic, an orderly transition of power is crucially important,” Alexander said in a statement.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said he now acknowledges Biden as the president-elect and said he had already spoken to him. Graham said the conversation was “pleasant”, according to the Hill.