After a frightening day on Capitol hill, lawmakers finished the electoral college certification early Thursday morning, but it didn’t come without heated debate.
Lawmakers resumed the electoral college certification Wednesday night after an attack on the capitol building Wednesday afternoon.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Pennsylvania Republican Representative Fred Keller was not in the house chamber when the violence broke out, but he was still in the building.
“When we were made aware of what was happening they got us all to a secure part of the building and we just sort of waited it out,” Keller said. “It was a very, very sad day to see what happened.”
Pennsylvania Democratic Representative Connor Lamb alleged the attack was motivated by “lies” about the election that he said had been repeated by republican lawmakers.
His comments lead to a shouting match on the house floor.
“The fact is that the people have made this country work by not giving in. Go ahead, shout it out,” Connor said. “Say what you want, it’s true.”
Keller was one of several Republican congressmen who objected the certification of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes Thursday.
He said he would not characterize the motives of the capitol attackers, but that he only objected to Pennsylvania’s certification on the grounds of constitutionality.
“I’m not gonna talk about things I don’t know,” Keller said. “That’s why my objection was with Pennsylvania because I know what the constitution says and I know what the actions that were taken.”
Keller said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and his cabinet bypassed the authority of Pennsylvania’s legislature by making unilateral changes to the election process.
Keller’s argument, echoed by Republican Congressman John Joyce, who objected to the certification as well.
“The things I was talking about were absolute. The constitution is not in dispute,” Keller said. “This is what the constitution says and these are the actions that were taken. I was not trying to change the outcome of any election.”
Wolf and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said Pennsylvania’s election was free, fair and secure.
On Thursday, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey called on Vice President Mike Pence to remove President Trump using the 25th amendment.
Casey claimed the president has incited violence and is a threat to national security.
Speaking on the attack, Keller said he’s grateful for the actions of the Capitol Police in protecting lawmakers.