Top Republican McConnell finally acknowledges Biden's victory

ATLANTA: US President-elect Joe Biden spoke with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday and said that the two had agreed to meet soon, after the lawmaker ended his silence on the results of the presidential election held six weeks ago.

Mr McConnell congratulated Mr Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory during remarks on the Senate floor on Tuesday, a day after the Electoral College formalised the Democrats' Nov 3 win.

The senator was among many congressional Republicans who had not acknowledged Mr Biden's defeat of President Donald Trump, who has continued to make unfounded claims of election fraud.

Mr Biden said he spoke with Mr McConnell before heading to Georgia, where he will campaign for two Democratic US Senate candidates whose Jan 5 elections could make or break his domestic policy agenda.

"While we disagree on a lot of things, there are things we can work together on. We agreed to get together sooner (rather) than later," he said.

Hours after their call, Mr McConnell told reporters that lawmakers would not leave Washington this year until they have agreed on a new coronavirus economic relief package.

Mr McConnell and his top deputies pressed other Senate Republicans not to join with any House Republicans who may object to the election outcome when Congress meets on Jan 6 to ratify the decision.

The effort is almost certain to fail since it would require approval by both chambers, including the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. - REUTERS