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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 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.

Jan 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

Most Senate Republicans join Rand Paul effort to dismiss Trump's 2nd impeachment trial

Photo: Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images

Forty-five Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, supported an effort to dismiss former President Trump's second impeachment trial.

Why it matters: The vote serves as a precursor to how senators will approach next month's impeachment trial, making it highly unlikely the Senate will vote to convict. The House impeached Trump for a second time for "incitement of insurrection" following events from Jan 6. when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.