Six weeks after Election Day, Republican US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the first time acknowledged Joe Biden’s victory and referred to him as President-elect, even amid President Donald Trump’s continued efforts to prolong the inevitable defeat.
“The electoral college has spoken,” McConnell said in his nearly 10-minute-long speech on the Senate floor in the US Capitol, CNN reported.
“Today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.”
The 78-year-old’s comments are significant given that many Senate Republicans are yet to recognize Biden’s victory even after the Electoral College made the win official.
Meanwhile, Democrats have heavily criticized Republicans’ refusal to accept the outcome of the Election and highlighted how it took more than 40 days since America went to the polls for many GOP members of Congress to speak up.
Following McConnell’s remarks, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, CNN reported, said, “The fact that it took six weeks for my colleagues to recognize reality and stop undermining our Democratic process is sad and disappointing.”
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According to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Trump needs to “take his cue from Leader McConnell, that it’s time to end his term,” in a floor speech and also called on his GOP colleagues to follow suit.
“Our Republican colleagues, for the sake of our democracy, for the sake of the peaceful transition of power, should stop the shenanigans,” Schumer said.
“Stop the misrepresentations and acknowledge that Joe Biden will be our next president.”
McConnell made his comments after praising the Trump presidency in the past tense, touting his administration’s accomplishments, including the country’s “economic prosperity,” “foreign policy,” judicial appointments, and “bold regulatory changes” in a floor speech.
“It would take far more than one speech to catalogue all the major wins the Trump administration has helped deliver for the American people,” he said, as per CNN inputs.
“The outsider who swore he would shake up Washington and lead our country to new accomplishments, both at home and abroad proceeded to do exactly that. President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence deserve our thanks and our gratitude for their tireless work and their essential roles in all these victories and in many more.”
In yet another first, McConnell then went on to congratulate Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris.
“I also want to congratulate the vice president-elect, our colleague from California, Senator Harris,” he said. “Beyond our differences, all Americans can take pride that our nation has a female vice president-elect for the very first time.”
McConnell said while millions wished the election would have yielded a different result, “our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on January the 20th.”