Updated Dec 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

McConnell congratulates Joe Biden on becoming president-elect

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) officially addressed Joe Biden as president-elect on Tuesday, saying in a speech on the Senate floor: "The Electoral College has spoken."

Why it matters: McConnell is the most prominent Republican to concede that President Trump lost the November election and congratulate Biden on his victory.

  • Most Republicans on Capitol Hill have refused to acknowledge that Biden had won given Trump's extended legal battle contesting the elections results.
  • But after Biden officially secured 270 electoral votes in Monday's meeting of the Electoral College, a growing number of GOP lawmakers are conceding that Trump lost and preparing for the next administration.

The latest: Biden told reporters in Delaware on Tuesday afternoon that he had called McConnell to thank him for his congratulations, and that the two agreed to meet soon.

What they're saying: McConnell, speaking on the Senate floor, said, "Our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on Jan. 20. The Electoral College has spoken."

  • "So today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden. The president-elect is no stranger to the Senate. He's devoted himself to public service for many years," he continued.
  • "I also want to congratulate the vice president-elect, our colleague from California — Sen. Harris. Beyond our differences, all Americans can take pride that our nation has a female vice president-elect for the very first time."

The backdrop: McConnell's congratulatory remarks came after a lengthy speech on President Trump’s accomplishments since 2016, which he described as “nearly endless” — emphasizing the conifrmation of three Supreme Court justices.

  • “It would take far more than one speech” to catalogue Trump’s “wins,” McConnell said.

How it's playing: Shortly after McConnell's remarks, Trump shared a Breitbart article on Twitter quoting Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) saying, "‘Trump Won the Electoral College‘ --- I Can Be a Part of the ‘Surrender Caucus‘ or I Can Fight for Our Country."

Go deeper: The Republicans who acknowledged Biden's win after the Electoral College vote

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