U.S. President-elect Joe Biden speaks as he campaigns on behalf of Democratic U.S. Senate candidates from Georgia Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, ahead of their January 5 run-off elections, during a drive-in campaign rally in Atlanta, Georgia, January 4, 2021.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
The final step in confirming Joe Biden as the next president of the United States is set for Wednesday afternoon as Congress convenes in joint session to certify that he defeated President Donald Trump in the Electoral College vote.
With Democrat Biden’s 306 electoral votes — 36 more than needed — the process normally would be a formality. But this year, it may take days because of what is likely to be a doomed effort by Trump to overturn his defeat, based on his false claims that he lost as the result of widespread ballot fraud.
The process is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding as the states’ certifications of their election results are unsealed in alphabetical order..
A baker’s dozen of Republican senators and dozens of GOP House members have indicated they will object to certifying electors from several battleground states that gave the Biden his margin of victory.
While those objections could trigger a formal debate in both chambers of Congress, Biden is expected to be confirmed as president.
That’s because Democrats hold a majority in the House, and enough Republican senators have said they would join Democrats in the Senate in opposing objections to Biden’s slate of electors.
To overturn an Electoral College result requires the agreement of both chambers of Congress.
Biden is scheduled to be inaugurated two weeks from Wednesday..
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.