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Rep. Mo Brooks. Credit: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Several Trump allies, led by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), plan to challenge the election results on Jan. 6, when Congress convenes to officially tally the votes from the Electoral College and certify Joe Biden as the president-elect.

Why it matters: Trump has refused to concede the election and has repeated false allegations of mass voter fraud while losing dozens of court cases. The challenges Brooks plans to bring up in Congress are extremely unlikely to change the outcome, but they will be another high profile effort on the part of some Republicans to invalidate millions of votes to overturn the election.

What they're saying: “We have a superior role under the Constitution than the Supreme Court does, than any federal court judge does, than any state court judge does,” Brooks told the New York Times. “What we say, goes. That’s the final verdict.”

How it works: Brooks told the Times he plans on challenging the electors in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Wisconsin.

  • In order for an objection to get a debate, he will need at least one senator to join him. It's not clear so far that any senators will object.
  • If an objection is filed, each Chamber would have to debate for two hours. For electors to be tossed, the Democratic-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate would have to agree.
  • Several Senate Republicans, like Mitt Romney and Susan Collins, have said they will not vote to overturn the results of the election.

Worth noting: House Democrats challenged Republican victories in the Electoral College in 2001, 2005 and 2017. But those voters were essentially in protest, with their party's nominee already conceding the election.

Awkward: All eyes will be on Vice President Mike Pence, who will be in charge of counting the Electoral College votes and overseeing any objections.

The bottom line: Any objection to the Electoral College count may delay things, but it won't change the winner of the election.

Go deeper: The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

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.

The front-runners for Biden's Supreme Court pick

Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson (left) and Justice Leondra Kruger (right) Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images and Lonnie Tague, US Department of Justice

Two highly accomplished Black female judges — Ketanji Brown Jackson, a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; and Leondra Kruger, a justice on the California Supreme Court — are seen as the early front-runners to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

The big picture: Jackson is a powerful federal judge with a record that progressives feel they can trust. Kruger was a highly regarded litigator and has carved out a reputation for working well with conservative judges.

Fed: Rate hikes are near

The Federal Reserve's headquarters building. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve is on track to raise its main target interest rate in mid-March, as Chair Jerome Powell pledged to be "humble and nimble" in adapting policy to a fast-changing economy.

Why it matters: Fed leaders are looking to choke off inflation by raising interest rates in the near future, but keeping its options open for how fast and far the effort will go.

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