Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy seeks to block Joe Biden's Electoral College win
Louisiana U.S. Sen. John Kennedy will join 11 Republican colleagues and object to certifying President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump when Congress convenes Jan. 6 as required by the Constitution.
Kennedy and 10 others announced Saturday they will join Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri in objecting, which will trigger a required debate in which members get 5 minutes each to speak but don't have a majority to stop Biden's inevitable win.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and others in GOP leadership have discouraged the action and asked their colleagues to reconsider for fear of causing a split in the Republican Party.
Louisiana 3rd District Republican Congressman Clay Higgins announced Thursday he plans to likewise lodge an objection from the House side.
Kennedy and the senators jointly announced Saturday they will seek to appoint a panel to conduct an "emergency 10-day audit" of results in disputed states.
"Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states," they said in a joint statement. "Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.
“Accordingly, we intend to vote on Jan. 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed."
President Trump and his allies have filed scores of lawsuits seeking to overturn the election alleging widespread voter fraud, but so far all have been dismissed.
The other senators joining Kennedy and Hawley include: Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas; Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin; Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma; Sen. Steve Daines of Montana; Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana;
Sen.-elect Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming; Sen.-elect Roger Marshall of Kansas; Sen.-elect Bill Hagerty of Tennessee; and Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville of Alabama.
Biden scored an Electoral College win of 306-232.
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.