Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, along with dozens of other Republicans in the U.S. House, voted in favor of objections to certifying the 2020 presidential election results, hours after deadly chaos erupted in Washington, D.C.
The congressman, whose 25th Congressional District includes the Antelope, Simi and Santa Clarita valleys, said he voted to reject the electoral votes of two states. In the end, Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the victors.
Garcia and four other GOP members from California were among more than 100 House lawmakers who agreed on the objection to Arizona’s electoral results. The House voted 303-121 against objecting to the state’s results; Senate members voted 93-6. On Pennsylvania’s results, the Senate voted 92-7 against challenging the results, and the House voted 282-138.
In a prepared statement Thursday, Garcia said his vote was not political but about “protecting the rights of the American people that are granted in the Constitution.”
“My objection to the electoral votes of two states was not in an attempt to overturn the results of the election, it was to fulfill my duty to protect the rights of the men and women of California’s 25th District who elected me to serve them and stand up for their rights,” read his statement.
After he examined the evidence, Garcia said he believed there were constitutional missteps by multiple states when officials outside of the state legislature of the states he had objected to changed election laws without the state legislature’s approval.
He also congratulated Biden and Harris on their win.
“It is time that we move forward and unite for the sake of California and all of America. I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of California’s 25th District. I promise to work hard to bring assured security to our nation,” he said.
His statement comes after a long day and night Wednesday of chaos, where a violent breach of the U.S. Capitol unfolded as supporters of President Donald Trump clashed with police in and around the area. One woman died after being shot by Capitol Police inside the Capitol and three others died from medical emergencies nearby, according to law enforcement.
Garcia issued statements on Wednesday amid the chaos, condemning the violence and urging for those who “engaged in storming Congress to immediately cease your operations.”
“To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win,” Vice President Mike Pence said before lawmakers once the Capitol was cleared and Congress reconvened. “Violence never wins. Freedom wins, and this is still the people’s house.
In a statement released early Thursday, Trump said he still disagreed with the election results but did acknowledge the outcome.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on Jan. 20,” said Trump.