(The Center Square) – Indiana Republican Senator Todd Young released a statement Wednesday just before the joint session of Congress saying he will not join other senators in objecting to Electoral College votes from up to six states, saying he believes Congress has “no authority” to do anything other than certify the votes.
“As Congress meets to formally receive the votes of the Electoral College, I will uphold my Constitutional duty and certify the will of the states as presented. The people voted and the Electoral College voted. Congress must fulfill its role in turn,” the statement reads.
Young referred to his “patriotic constituents and colleagues” saying he, too, wishes the results of the election were different.
“I strongly supported President Trump and his agenda the last four years,” his statement reads. “I campaigned hard for him. But upon assuming this office, I took a solemn, inviolable oath to support and defend our Constitution, just as I did as a United States Marine. I will not violate that oath.”
Young went on to refer to the role of Congress in the presidential election as “narrow by design” and said for Congress to substitute “the will of a state’s certified electors” with its own would be “unconstitutional and set a dangerous precedent, damaging the integrity of and future respect for the Electoral College.”
“This is not an empty warning,” he said. “Democrats have already shown the political will to subvert our institutions through calls to pack the Supreme Court, eliminate the filibuster to weaken the Senate, and abolish the Electoral College itself. It would be a grave mistake to join them in this effort.”
Young, a Carmel native and Naval Academy graduate, won election to the U.S. Senate in 2016, the same year Trump was elected. He was seen as the establishment Republican in that race, defeating the more conservative candidate, Rep. Marlin Stutzman, in the primary and defeating former Democratic governor Evan Bayh in the general election 52-42% to fill the seat that was being vacated by Sen. Dan Coats.
During the joint session of Congress on Wednesday afternoon, Vice President Mike Pence, also from Indiana, began reading the Electoral College votes from the states. When Rep. Paul Gosar, a Republican from Arizona, rose to object to the votes from Arizona, along with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the right side of the chamber broke out in applause, with most Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, taking to their feet to applaud enthusiastically.
Young remained seated and did not clap.
The clerk of the House read the objection to the joint session of the House and Senate, stating that the objection was being made on the grounds that the votes from Arizona “were not, under the known circumstances, regularly given.”
The members of the Senate then departed the House chamber and walked across the U.S. Capitol to the Senate chamber to debate the objection to votes from Arizona separately.