McConnell endorses bill to prevent efforts to subvert presidential election results

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Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has passed a two-pronged electoral reform in the Senate, giving the legislation significant impetus over a similar bill passed by the House last week. Both bills seek to prevent future presidents from attempting to nullify election results through Congress, and were directly prompted by the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob seeking to halt the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. .

The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, sponsored by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.), would amend the Electoral Count Act of 1887 and reaffirm that the vice president only has a ministerial role on the joint session of Congress to count the electoral votes , and to raise the threshold that members of Congress need to object to a state’s voters.

McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon that he would “firmly support” the legislation and said it “wouldn’t rush to replace the current law with something untested”.

The Congressional process for counting the votes of their presidential elections was written 135 ago. The chaos that came to a head on Jan. 6 last year certainly underscored the need for an update,” McConnell said. has.”

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) is also likely to support the bill. Both Schumer and McConnell sit on the Senate Rules Committee, which meets Tuesday afternoon to vote on the legislation.

Their votes would almost certainly make the bill’s likelihood of passing through the Senate. The bill has already received strong bipartisan support, with 11 Democratic and 11 Republican senators signing up to co-sponsor it last week.

“We are pleased that bipartisan support continues to grow for these sensible and much-needed reforms of the Electoral Count Act of 1887,” Collins and Manchin said in a joint statement last week. “Our bill is supported by electoral law experts and organizations from across the ideological spectrum. We will continue to work to increase bipartisan support for our legislation that would correct the flaws in this archaic and ambiguous law.”

After the 2020 election, President Donald Trump had falsely told his supporters that Vice President Mike Pence had the power to deny electoral votes already approved by the states. Pence didn’t — and has repeatedly stressed that the Constitution gives the vice president no such power. But on January 6, many in the pro-Trump mob that captured the Capitol began chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!” on the misguided belief that the vice president could have stopped Congress from certifying Biden’s victory.

The House passed the similar presidential election reform bill last week, written by Representatives Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), by a vote of 229-203. Cheney and Lofgren argued that the risk of another attempt to steal presidential elections remains high as Trump continues to spread baseless claims about widespread voter fraud, and as pro-Trump candidates in state and local elections across the country have embraced those falsehoods. .

Senate and House bills differ primarily in how much they would change the threshold that members of both houses need to object to a state’s results. Currently, only one member of the House and Senate needs to object to a state’s voters. The parliamentary reform bill would raise that threshold to at least one-third of the members of both the House and Senate, while the Senate version would raise that threshold to at least one-fifth of the members of both the House. as the Senate.

Schumer had withheld his support because he favored the sweeping Democrat voting bill that also regulated access to the polls. But after that bill failed in the Senate earlier this year due to a lack of Republican support, the bipartisan task force moved ahead with a narrower bill that would implement guardrails and clarifications regarding how presidential voters are nominated, submitted and approved.

sen. Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the rules panel working on his own election bill, said Monday it was “critical” that they pass legislation as soon as possible.

“These are not comprehensive voting reforms, but they are important because of the danger we experienced on Jan. 6,” King told The Washington Post. “It’s critical that we do this for next year, when we’re in the throes of the presidential election.”

Unlike the Senate bill, the House bill received little support from GOP lawmakers. Only nine Republicans broke ranks and joined Democrats in support of the measure, and none of those nine will serve in Congress next year — either because they lost their primary or chose to retire. Several of the House Republicans who opposed the bill, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), criticized it as unconstitutional.

The Biden administration last week issued a statement in support of the House law, calling it another step in the “critically needed reform of the 135-year-old Election Count Act”.

“Americans deserve greater clarity on the process by which their vote will result in the election of a president and vice president,” the Office of Management and Budget said. “As [the Presidential Election Reform Act] As the legislative process continues, the government looks forward to working with Congress to ensure lasting reforms consistent with Congress’ constitutional authority to protect voting rights, count electoral votes and strengthen our democracy.”

Leigh Ann Caldwell contributed to this report.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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