Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas is the latest Republican to announce he won’t join Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and other GOP colleagues in opposing the counting of certified electoral votes for President-elect Joseph R. Biden on Wednesday.
Mr. Cotton said the nation’s founders entrusted voters to elect a president, and they gave courts the authority to settle election disputes.
“Under the Constitution and federal law, Congress’s power is limited to counting electoral votes submitted by the states,” Mr. Cotton said in a statement.
The division among Senate Republicans ensures that the effort by Mr. Cruz and 11 other GOP senators to aid President Trump’s prolonged election fight will fail. Among the other Republicans who won’t object to Mr. Biden’s electoral votes are Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Whip John Thune of South Dakota, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Under federal law, the House and Senate would need to agree to reject any state’s presidential electors.
The president told Mr. Cotton on Twitter, “Republicans have pluses & minuses, but one thing is sure, THEY NEVER FORGET!”
“The ‘Surrender Caucus’ within the Republican Party will go down in infamy as weak and ineffective ‘guardians’ of our Nation, who were willing to accept the certification of fraudulent presidential numbers!” Mr. Trump tweeted.
Mr. Cotton, normally an ally of the White House, said he’s “grateful” for Mr. Trump’s accomplishments and that he campaigned hard for his reelection.
“But objecting to certified electoral votes won’t give him a second term — it will only embolden those Democrats who want to erode further our system of constitutional government,” Mr. Cotton said.
He said that he shares the disappointment of many of his Arkansas constituents in the election results.
“I share the concerns of many Arkansans about irregularities in the presidential election, especially in states that rushed through election-law changes to relax standards for voting-by-mail,” Mr. Cotton said. “I therefore support a commission to study the last election and propose reforms to protect the integrity of our elections.”
Mr. Trump asked, “How can you certify an election when the numbers being certified are verifiably WRONG. You will see the real numbers tonight during my speech, but especially on JANUARY 6th.”
The president will hold a campaign rally in Georgia on Monday night for Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who face runoffs on Tuesday against Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.