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Congress Set To Resume Action At 8pm After Being Forced To Recess Amid Debate Over Electoral College

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Updated at 7:00 p.m. ET

The U.S. Congress is expected to resume tallying Electoral College votes at 8pm. 

You can watch it live below. 

Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET

The U.S. Capitol went into a lockdown Wednesday as lawmakers were conducting a formal tally of Electoral College votes and debating objections to the results.

Under the Constitution, the final step in the 2020 presidential election is for a joint session of Congress to meet on Jan. 6 to count the votes and officially declare a winner. Governors certified and sealed their states' results after their electors signed off on them on Dec. 14, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won with 306 votes to Donald Trump and Mike Pence's 232 votes.

This session is typically a ceremonial affair, but this year, the protests and the lockdown highlight the bitterly divided reaction between the two parties to the 2020 presidential election, as many Republicans falsely decry rigged results.

The first objection was launched shortly after the session began, on the state of Arizona. The lawmakers then began up to two hours of debate, with the House and Senate debating and voting on the objections separately.

Around 2 p.m. ET, both chambers went into recess, however, as Capitol Police notified staff to shelter in place. It is unclear when the proceedings will presume.

Deirdre Walsh is the congress editor for NPR's Washington Desk.