At 1 p.m. local time on Jan. 6, members of Congress will gather in the chamber of the House of Representatives to observe the formal certification of Electoral College votes for president of the United States.
While it’s usually a formality, nothing has been usual so far about this year’s election amid numerous allegations of voter fraud in key swing states.
The situation is complicated by a lack of clarity on the legal and constitutional guardrails for the process. The joint session of Congress may well result in gridlock, in which a clear winner of the race isn’t announced at all.
Based on current election results, former Vice President Joe Biden has received 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232 votes. Meanwhile, Republicans in seven states where Biden claimed victory have sent their own sets of electoral votes to Washington, and some members of the House have indicated that they will object to Biden electors in some states. Any objection would require support from one House member and one senator to be considered, and at least one senator has left open the possibility he would join the effort.
So what will happen?
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2. Pentagon Orders Aircraft Carrier Nimitz, On Its Way Home, To Turn Around Following Iranian Thread.
“The acting secretary of the defense, Christopher C. Miller, abruptly reversed his previous order to redeploy the Nimitz, which he had done over the objections of his top military advisers,” The New York Times reported. “The military had for weeks been engaged in a muscle-flexing strategy aimed at deterring Iran from attacking American personnel in the Persian Gulf.”
The announcement comes after top Iranian officials suggested following the new year that the Islamic Republic of Iran may seek to assassinate President Donald Trump in retaliation for last year’s killing of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force (IRGC-QF), a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.
3. Xi Orders China’s Military to Focus on ‘Preparing for War’ as Party Approaches 100th Anniversary
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has commanded the regime’s military to focus on “preparing for war,” as Beijing looks to make a splash in 2021—the year marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
In the first order of the year, Xi instructed the forces to ratchet up military training. As chairman of the regime’s Central Military Commission (CMC), Xi is head of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the CCP’s armed forces.
He ordered the PLA to “focus on preparing for war, deepen the transformation of military training, build a new type of military training system, and comprehensively improve the level of combat training and ability to win,” according to Chinese state media Xinhua.