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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa's Congressional delegation votes down Arizona, Pennsylvania electoral objections

Iowa's four representatives and two senators voted against two objections to state's electoral votes.

WASHINGTON — All six members of Iowa's Congressional delegation—two senators and four representatives—voted down objections submitted against Arizona and Pennsylvania electoral votes, helping certify President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election.

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, along with Reps. Randy Feenstra, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Cindy Axne and Ashley Hinson, all said they were safe after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon.

Congress was holding a joint session to confirm Joe Biden's Electoral College victory when the crowds moved past barricades and into the Capitol building itself.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said earlier in the day that "The voters, the courts and the states all have spoken" while Vice President Mike Pence said he did not have unliteral power to overturn the states' electors.

After the session resumed Wednesday night, the Senate rejected objections to Arizona and Pennsylvania 93-to-6 and 92-to-7, respectively.

The House voted down the objections to Arizona 303-to-121 and Pennsylvania 282-to-138.

"I swore to uphold the Constitution, therefore I cannot support any effort to undermine the constitutional role of states in elections," Grassley said in a statement. "I share the frustration of many Americans about the election outcome, and I’m also concerned about claims of irregularities that were exacerbated by states changing their rules at the eleventh hour."

"Going forward, it’s important that state legislatures closely scrutinize the events of this election and take necessary steps to promote independence, transparency and trust in future elections.” 

Ernst issued the following statement after the vote:

“Many Iowans supported President Trump in the most recent election and are disappointed by the results. However, objecting to the Electoral College vote count will not change the outcome. And, beyond that, the reprehensible violence we’ve seen in the U.S. Capitol today will not change the outcome."

A second objection was submitted late Wednesday night against Pennsylvania's electoral votes. All six members of Iowa's Congressional delegation voted down that measure as well.

"My job is, according to the Constitution, to go through and we count the electors and then we certify the election," Hinson told Local 5. 

"To date, no state has sent a new slate of electors -- even though they have the constitutional power to do so," Feenstra said in a statement. "Therefore, the results of the Electoral College will stand."

"Sen. Grassley is currently with his usual Capitol Police protective detail," a spokeswoman for Sen. Chuck Grassley said.

Grassley condemned the violence at the Capitol in a tweet sent at 4:01 p.m., saying the breach "was an attack on American democracy itself." 

"This is a sad day for America," says a release from Grassley's office. "As a nation, we must be better than this."

Grassley and Ernst were both present on the Senate floor before it was evacuated, as seen in the video below.

Watch full interview's with Iowa's Congressional delegations at the links below:

"I served in uniform to defend the right to peaceful protest. What’s happening at the Capitol right now is not peaceful nor a protest," Ernst tweeted at 2:16 p.m. "It’s anarchy, & a betrayal of the American ideals we all hold dear."

"My staff and I are safe. Thanks to Capitol Police for your selfless work."

Rep. Cindy Axne's office told Local 5 that House members were sheltering in place as of 2:05 p.m. and were told to lock their doors, stay away from doors and windows and remain where they are. 

"My staff and I are safe," she tweeted at 1:26 p.m.

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks is also safe and sheltering in place, her office confirmed.

Rep. Feenstra and his staff are also safe, a spokesman said.

"It's every American's right to protest peacefully. Violence is never the answer," Feenstra tweeted at 1:34 p.m. "Thank you Capitol Police for working today & every day to keep us safe."

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Visit WeAreIowa.com or download the We Are Iowa app for the latest.

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