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Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will object to the certification of Arizona's Electoral College votes on Wednesday, two sources familiar with his plans confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: Cruz is one of 13 senators who have threatened to object to President-elect Biden's Electoral College victory. Arizona is at least the third state whose certification Republican lawmakers plan to challenge.

  • Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has said he'll object to Pennsylvania's certification, while Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) says she'll object to Georgia's results.
  • Cruz, who is leading a separate coalition of 11 senators, will be joined in the House in his Arizona objection by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.).
  • The Washington Post was the first to report on Cruz's plans.

Between the lines: Cruz is choosing to object to Arizona in an effort to bolster his request for an electoral commission on alleged voter fraud early on in the certification process, sources tell Axios.

  • States are certified alphabetically — meaning Arizona will be the first battleground state brought to the joint session of Congress.
  • The Trump campaign has repeatedly lost lawsuits seeking to overturn election results, including in Arizona.

What they're saying: "I assembled a coalition of 11 senators that we are going to vote to object to the electors — not to set aside the election, I don’t think that would actually be the right thing to do," Cruz said on the Mark Levin Show on Monday.

  • "But rather to press for the appointment of an electoral commission that can hear the claims of voter fraud, hear the evidence and make a determination as to what the facts are and the extent to which the law was complied with."

What to watch: Republicans' objections to the certification process are virtually guaranteed to fail. The Democrats hold a majority in the House, and a number of Republican senators have condemned their colleagues' efforts as damaging to democracy.

Go deeper: 2024 Republicans view Biden certification vote as decisive for their presidential viability

Go deeper

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Donald and Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden to sign major climate orders, setting up clash with oil industry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden will sign new executive actions today that provide the clearest signs yet of his climate plans — elevating the issue to a national security priority and kicking off an intense battle with the oil industry.

Driving the news: One move will freeze issuance of new oil-and-gas leases on public lands and waters "to the extent possible," per a White House summary.

The rebellion against Silicon Valley (the place)

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

Silicon Valley may be a "state of mind," but it's also very much a real enclave in Northern California. Now, a growing faction of the tech industry is boycotting it.

Why it matters: The Bay Area is facing for the first time the prospect of losing its crown as the top destination for tech workers and startups — which could have an economic impact on the region and force it to reckon with its local issues.