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The House reconvenes Wednesday night for the joint session after pro-Trump mobs stormed the Capitol. Photo: Saul Loeb - Pool/Getty Images

A joint session of Congress ended a day of siege by officially certifying on Thursday President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win in the November election, the final step ahead of his Jan. 20 inauguration.

The bottom line: The final votes in Congress confirm that Biden will be the 46th president of the United States—despite some Republican lawmakers' challenges and the rampage through the Capitol by supporters of President Trump.

The big picture: The vote came hours after the typically procedural process was disrupted by mass chaos, with armed, pro-Trump rioters storming the Capitol, forcing House and Senate lawmakers into lockdowns that lasted hours.

  • The day's violent events impeded several Republicans' plans to challenge the Electoral College votes in battleground states.
  • Some House and Senate Republicans had planned to object to the Electoral College votes in at least three states: Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania — with an additional three on the table.
  • But the objectors only made it to Arizona and Pennsylvania, with several Republican lawmakers giving up their challenges after the protests erupted inside the Capitol.

Trump in a statement released after Congress officially affirmed Biden's victory pledged an "orderly transition on January 20th."

Between the lines: Although we knew from the start that the certification debate wouldn't change the election results, the day's events revealed how much work needs to be done to heal the country.

  • The Republicans who sought to object to the election results succeeded in shaking many Americans' confidence in their democracy, especially among those who believe Biden's presidency is illegitimate.
  • It also drew battle lines for the 2024 GOP presidential primary, and put a target on many pro-Trump dissenters who refused to take part in undermining Biden's victory.

Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the proceedings and ultimately announced that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris had received the required majority votes, is a top target.

  • His declaration —in which he fulfilled his constitutional duty — went directly against Trump's high-pressure campaign to overturn the election results.

What's next: The House and Senate will recess at the end of this week through the inauguration.

Go deeper

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
55 mins ago - Technology

Facebook's scandals have been great for shareholders

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios

Facebook has been embroiled in scandal for the past five years, and while the specific allegations change over time, a central theme is constant. Given the choice between commercial and moral imperatives, Facebook always seems to choose the option that is best for the share price.

Why it matters: Facebook's stock chart supports that narrative. Since the 2016 scandals alleging that the social network was infiltrated by foreign actors trying to influence the outcome of democratic elections, Facebook's revenues — and its stock — have been soaring.

Biden to tap telecom trio for NTIA, FCC posts

Jessica Rosenworcel. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

President Joe Biden on Tuesday is expected to name Alan Davidson as head of the telecom arm of the Commerce Department, Jessica Rosenworcel as chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission and Gigi Sohn as a commissioner at the FCC, according to a person familiar with the process.

Why it matters: Internet availability and affordability has been a key policy priority for the White House, but the administration lagged in tapping people for the agency posts that oversee the issues.

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