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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the first time acknowledged Joe Biden's victory and referred to him as President-elect, six weeks after Election Day and amid President Donald Trump's continued refusal to accept defeat.
"The electoral college has spoken," McConnell said in remarks from the Senate floor in the US Capitol, adding, "Today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden."
McConnell's comments are significant given that many Senate Republicans still wouldn't recognize Biden's victory on Monday evening even after the Electoral College made the win official.
Democrats have criticized Republicans' refusal to accept the outcome of the Election, and highlighted how it took more than 40 days since Americans went to the polls for many GOP members of Congress to speak up.
"The fact that it took six weeks for my colleagues to recognize reality and stop undermining our Democratic process is sad and disappointing," said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin in a floor speech Tuesday following McConnell's remarks.
McConnell for the first time recognizes Biden as President-elect
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that Trump needs to "take his cue from Leader McConnell, that it's time to end his term," in a floor speech and also called on his GOP colleagues to follow suit.