Congress to reconvene Wednesday night to complete Electoral College certification

Senate to reconvene at 8 p.m., according to Schumer

The Peace Monument stands on the grounds of the United States Capitol in Peace Circle as pro-Trump rioters take over the Capitol grounds on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
The Peace Monument stands on the grounds of the United States Capitol in Peace Circle as pro-Trump rioters take over the Capitol grounds on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted January 6, 2021 at 7:14pm

Congress will reconvene Wednesday night once the Capitol is cleared for use to complete the certification of the Electoral College votes, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced in a “Dear Colleague” letter.

“Today, a shameful assault was made on our democracy.  It was anointed at the highest level of government,” Pelosi said. “It cannot, however, deter us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden.”

Pelosi said she other Democratic leaders held calls with the Pentagon, the Justice Department and Vice President Mike Pence to decide next steps.

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“We have decided we should proceed tonight at the Capitol once it is cleared for use,” the California Democrat said.

The Senate is expected to reconvene at 8 p.m., Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer told reporters.

The news comes more than four hours after the Capitol complex went on lockdown when a mob supporting President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the election results stormed the Capitol Building.

Lawmakers, staff and reporters were evacuated from the House and Senate floor and galleries and taken to secure locations at the complex.

Shortly before 6 p.m., the House Sergeant-at-Arms informed a group of more than 100 people that had evacuated from the House side that the Capitol had been cleared.

But it’s unclear how much work needs to be done to clean up any damage in the building and the chambers. The pro-Trump mob had breached the Senate chamber, and pictures showed some carrying floor equipment, like a speaker’s podium, around the hallways.

Pelosi suggested in her letter that the plan when Congress resumes is for them to complete the joint session. First the chambers will need to resume their separate deliberations on an objection that Republicans lodged to the Arizona results.

“We always knew this responsibility would take us into the night,” Pelosi said. “The night may still be long but we are hopeful for a shorter agenda, but our purpose will be accomplished.”

It’s unclear if Republicans will still object to the results from other states, like Georgia and Pennsylvania, as some had planned. Some of the GOP senators involved in the objection effort had been spotted huddling and deliberating, but they have yet to share an update on their plans.

Katherine Tully-McManus and Chris Cioffi contributed to this report.