The U.S. House and Senate went into recess Wednesday amid security concerns.
Lawmakers were meeting on Wednesday to formally count the Electoral College votes, and in normal times then certify Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election over incumbent Republican President Donald Trump.
The Electoral College count is normally a formality in the election process, with not much attention paid, but as Trump continues to contest the election and several Republican lawmakers plan to object to votes from various states, the event is drawing the eyes of the world.
Vice-President Mike Pence, while facing pressure from Trump to reject electoral votes from some states and thus overturn the election, holds mainly a ceremonial role as president of the Senate. While there are objections, a majority vote is needed in both the Senate and House for the objection to be upheld but enough Republicans lawmakers in both chambers have said they would vote to certify.
Once the votes are counted, it would fall to Pence to declare the winner of the election.
As of 6 p.m. local time, Congress had not yet returned to continue debate or the joint session.
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