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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

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

GOP operatives accused of funneling Russian cash to Trump

Jesse Benton, spokesman for the Ron Paul campaign, speaking to reporters in the spin room after the CNN Debate on January 1, 2012. Photo: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images

A former senior aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul was indicted this month for allegedly funneling $25,000 from a wealthy, unnamed Russian to former President Trump's reelection efforts.

The big picture: The Justice Department alleges that Jesse Benton, 43, the husband of Paul's niece and a veteran Republican staffer, orchestrated a scheme to conceal the illegal foreign donation with another GOP operative, Doug Wead.

Biden to raise refugee admissions cap to 125,000

Afghan refugees arrive at Dulles International Airport after being evacuated from Kabul. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Biden administration will raise the refugee admissions cap to 125,000 for the next fiscal year beginning in October, the State Department confirmed in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The move comes as the U.S. contends with resettling tens of thousands of Afghan refugees stateside, and as the world faces "unprecedented global displacement and humanitarian needs," the department wrote.