Dear Colleague on Tomorrow's Joint Session of Congress

January 5, 2021
Press Release

Dear Democratic Colleague,

Tomorrow is a day of enormous historic significance, as the United States Congress meets for a Joint Session to count the results of the 2020 election – which President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris won, decisively.

When the Congress meets tomorrow, this resounding victory will be recognized, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be officially declared the next President and Vice President of the United States.

For tomorrow, I want to make Members aware of several important updates:

  • First, the Joint Session should be a solemn occasion.  There are no speaking roles during the Joint Session except for announcing the votes of the states.  If Republicans bring a challenge to a state, we then break into separate House and Senate sessions to debate.  The state delegations and our leaders – Representatives Zoe Lofgren, Jamie Raskin, Adam Schiff and Joe Neguse – have been working on our Democratic presentation of the Constitutional, historical and thematic justification for respecting the will of the people.  On the Floor of the House, we will have a civics lesson about protecting the integrity of our democracy.  Priority to speak has been given to state delegation Members from states that are expected to face a challenge.
  • Second, during the Joint Session, access to the Floor of the House will be limited to those Members who are scheduled to speak during House debate where there is an objection.  Unless participating in the House debate, Members are encouraged to remain in their offices unless called to vote.  In the event of a challenge, we may only have 54 Members in the House Gallery, which we hope to accommodate on a rotating basis.  My office will be in touch with Members’ offices on this opportunity.   
  • Third, face covers must be worn at all times, and Members are requested to follow all other health safety procedures while on the Floor.  These procedures are not a suggestion, but a direction made in the interest of keeping the Congress healthy and intact.

Tomorrow is about guaranteeing trust in our democratic system.  As Members of Congress, we all have a responsibility to uphold the principle: the people are sovereign and that they hold the power to choose their leaders through the ballot box.  I am confident that Democrats will honor this responsibility, with unity, patriotism and dignity For The People.

May God Bless America.