The U.S. Congress has certified Joe Biden as the next president of the country, hours after supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump attacked the Capitol in a move that left the nation and the world astonished.
Congress reconvened to ratify President-elect Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over Trump — with 232 votes — early Thursday morning. The chamber confirmed Biden’s election as the U.S. president, and Kamala Harris as vice president.
The affirmation on Thursday morning came after the House of Representatives and the Senate, in two separate votes in both chambers, overwhelmingly rejected efforts by some Republicans to object to acceptance of Electoral College wins for Biden in Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Vice President Mike Pence, who declared the final vote totals, said this “shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the United States.” Immediately after the confirmation, the White House released a statement from Trump in which he pledged what he called “an orderly transition” on January 20 when Biden will be sworn into office.
Harris will also take office alongside Biden in the same day.
After two months of refusal to accept his defeat in the November 3rd election, Trump encouraged his supporters to go to the U.S. Capitol as it was debating the counting of Electoral College’s votes on Wednesday. “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Trump told his supporters.
Four Americans are killed as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Trump, who said he would join them, returned to the White House as his supporters converged on the Capitol.
The violence overwhelmed police and drove Congress from its chambers. House members and senators fled the scene as shots were fired to disperse the crowd. Police later cleared the U.S. Capitol of the Trump supporters and enforced curfew.
The attack on the Capitol prompted calls for Trump’s immediate removal from the office as U.S. media accused the president of attempted coup and sedition.