A joint session of Congress certified electoral votes to confirm Joe Biden’s November electoral victory after a delay caused by pro-Trump mob attacks on the Capitol building.
Hours after hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol in a harrowing assault on American democracy, a shaken Congress has formally certified Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.
After debate, the House and Senate rejected two objections to the tally and certified the final Electoral College vote with Biden receiving 306 votes and Trump 232 votes.
The outcome had never been in doubt, but had been interrupted by rioters, spurred on by Trump, who forced their way past metal security barricades, broke windows and scaled walls to fight their way into the Capitol.
Police said four people died during the chaos, one from gunshot wounds and three from medical emergencies, and 52 people were arrested.
Some besieged the House of Representatives chamber while lawmakers were inside, banging on its doors and forcing suspension of the certification debate.
Security officers piled furniture against the chamber's door and drew their pistols before helping lawmakers and others escape.
Today is a reminder, a painful one, that democracy is fragile. To preserve it requires people of good will, leaders with the courage to stand up, who are devoted not to pursuit of power and personal interest at any cost, but to the common good.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 7, 2021
Senator Josh Hawley joined the objection of dozens of House Republicans over Pennsylvania's electors, prompting the two chambers to debate the challenge.
In the Senate, though, Republican leader Mitch McConnell quickly quashed debate and the chamber voted 92 to 7 to reject the objection.
In the House, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania argued that his objection was aimed at safeguarding the US Constitution.
That prompted a fiery rebuttal from Democrat Joe Neguse, who held up a pocket copy of the charter and said: "Under our constitution, Congress doesn't choose the president, the American people do, and they have chosen in resounding numbers."
Trump supporters smashed cameras and other media equipment outside US Capitol building pic.twitter.com/wlPAi5qLng— TRT World (@trtworld) January 6, 2021
Objections over Arizona dismissed
Earlier lawmakers swept aside the effort to reject Arizona's 11 electoral votes.
Senators voted 93 to 6 against the objection, while in the House, 303 lawmakers opposed it including 82 Republicans.
But even after the violence of the day, 121 Republicans voted unsuccessfully to block the counting of Arizona's votes.
The joint session of Congress is certifying the electoral votes of all 50 states to confirm Biden's 306-232 electoral victory in November.
It was delayed when protesters stormed the Capitol building, triggering unprecedented chaos and violence that drew condemnation from around the world and some Republican scorn for Trump.
"We saw bloodshed because a demagogue chose to spread falsehoods and sow distrust of his own fellow Americans," said Senator Pat Toomey, angry that other Republicans were objecting to the electors of his state of Pennsylvania.
"Let's not abet such deception. Let's reject this motion," he said.
Egged on in an extraordinary rally by an aggrieved Trump, a flag-waving mob broke down barricades outside the Capitol and swarmed inside, rampaging through offices and onto the usually solemn legislative floors.