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Congress Approves Biden Electoral Win After Taking Up Challenge to PA Results

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Congress voted overnight to approve President-elect Joe Biden's win in the Electoral College after considering a final challenge to the results of the election in Pennsylvania.

The vote came as the historic electoral showdown continued late into the evening hours with a joint session of Congress. 

The Senate had voted late in the evening on Wednesday to reject a challenge to the electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden in Arizona - unfinished business that had remained after Congress went into lockdown during that debate.

The unsettling breach of the Capitol earlier in the day by a group of rioters appears to have convinced numerous senators to drop many of their objections to the controversial election outcomes in certain key swing states. 

This became evident shortly after Congress resumed their joint session after 8 p.m., when senators declined to object to the electors from Georgia and Michigan, meaning the objections by congressmen in those cases could not proceed. But then Sen. Josh Hawley signed on to oppose the outcome in Pennsylvania, so both houses moved on to debate the charges against the Keystone State.

What Happened Earlier in the Day

As the events of the day began, shortly after 1 p.m., more than half of the House Republicans and Sen. Ted Cruz officially objected to the electoral votes from Arizona, and both houses of Congress suspended their joint session temporarily to debate the results from Arizona.

Shifting to the Senate to debate the matter, Sen. Cruz then officially called for Congress to appoint an emergency electoral commission which would include 5 Supreme Court Justices along with a handful of lawmakers. He pointed out Wednesday afternoon that the precedent for an electoral commission was set in 1877. Sen. Pat Toomey later scoffed at the idea of an electoral commission in his public remarks from the Senate floor.

Then... the events inside the Capitol were soon disrupted and some lawmakers were left sheltering in place after a group of rioters breached the Capitol.

THE BREACH: Trump Calls for Peace After Congress Locks Down When Protesters Breach Capitol

CBN News has been carrying Live coverage of the events taking place inside the US Capitol on the CBN News Channel and on the CBN News app

BELOW: Watch LIVE COVERAGE of Electoral College Showdown in the Joint Session in the House

BELOW: Watch LIVE COVERAGE of Electoral College Showdown in the Senate (which resumes when there are objections during the Joint Session)

What Does the Process Look Like in Congress?

It's unclear how long it will take the special joint session of Congress to complete its duties. According to the 12th Amendment of the Constitution, Vice President Mike Pence, serving in his role as President of the Senate, is presiding over the proceedings.

The Electoral College vote count of the states began in alphabetical order, beginning with Alabama. The 12th Amendment says the Vice President shall "open the certificates and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be President."

Pence began the process of opening the sealed envelopes Wednesday afternoon with the electoral votes from each state being read aloud. 

When the results from Arizona were presented, the first objection was filed.

BELOW: CBN News Channel SPECIAL LIVE COVERAGE from Earlier in the Day

Scores of lawmakers vowed to contest the results in key states where significant questions were raised about the validity of the vote, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Anytime an objection is made in writing by a member of the House and the Senate, each body retires to its chamber to debate for up to two hours and to vote on the objection. 

Each lawmaker has only five minutes to speak during that two-hour debate. The House is expected to take up the allotted two hours of debate because it has more members planning to object. Each chamber votes on the objection and then recesses to meet together again. 

All 50 states certified their electoral college votes last month. Alternate electors from the contested states may also be presented on President Trump's behalf. 

While the disputed electoral votes are historic, this type of effort is not unprecedented. In just the past three elections that Republicans won the White House, Democrats offered similar challenges to the Electoral College in Congress. In fact, one case saw a Democrat senator joining House Democrats in an attempt to overturn electors in the state of Ohio when Bush won in 2004. 

Wednesday's grueling session could go on into the wee morning hours of Thursday or longer.

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