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Herrera Beutler expects a Biden inauguration, but won’t call him president-elect

Asked if she acknowledges Joe Biden’s presidential win, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, responded through a spokesman that she expects Biden to be inaugurated. But she stopped short of affirming that she personally accepts Biden as the president-elect. 

“‘President Elect’” isn’t a term that means anything in law, and it’s never been widely applied in a situation when one of the two major candidates has yet to concede the election,” her spokesman, Craig Wheeler, responded via email.

The last time I reached out to Herrera Beutler about the presidential election results was on Nov. 9, just two days after Biden clinched the 270 electoral votes necessary to win. At the time, she responded that the president “has the right to press his claims in court.” 

President Donald Trump has since exercised those rights. Over the last month, Trump lost court battles to overturn election results in Arizona, Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Georgia. Wheeler acknowledged as much in his email Tuesday. 

“As she’s said over and over again, (Herrera Beutler) hasn’t seen the evidence presented that would overturn the election of Joe Biden, and neither have the courts,” Wheeler wrote. “Jaime expects that the electoral college will vote for Joe Biden next week, and he’ll be inaugurated in January.”

A survey from The Washington Post over the weekend found that only 27 congressional Republicans have acknowledged Biden’s electoral victory. Two said that Trump won. The vast majority — 220 Republican members of the House and the Senate — would not say who won the presidential election, defying a longstanding tradition of concessions meant to ensure a smooth transfer of executive power. On whether they’d accept Biden as a legitimately elected president when he formally wins the Electoral College vote on Dec. 14, just 32 answered in the affirmative.

Herrera Beutler was among the majority of GOP lawmakers who did not respond to the Post’s survey.

Hours after the Washington Post survey was published, Trump demanded via Twitter to know which congressional Republicans had acknowledged Biden as the winner (two more have since responded, bringing the total up to 27, and the full list is included in the published story).

“25, wow! I am surprised there are so many. We have just begun to fight. Please send me a list of the 25 RINOS. I read the Fake News Washington Post as little as possible!” the president wrote.

Calley Hair

Calley Hair

I write about city and federal politics. Find me at twitter.com/CalleyNHair