McConnell Backs Bipartisan Electoral Count Bill To Avoid Another Jan. 6
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) expressed his support for a bipartisan bill aimed at clarifying election laws and avoiding another attempt to overturn results.
“I strongly support the modest changes that our colleagues in the working group have fleshed out after literally months of detailed discussions,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “I’ll proudly support the legislation, provided that nothing more than technical changes are made to its current form.”
“Congress’ process for counting the presidential electors’ votes was written 135 years ago. The chaos that came to a head on January 6th of last year certainly underscored the need for an update,” McConnell added. “So did Januaries 2001, 2005 and 2017. In each of which, Democrats tried to challenge the lawful election of a Republican president.”
Moderate Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) led efforts to amend the outdated 1887 Electoral Count Act to clarify the vice president’s role in the certification of a president-elect’s win and raise the threshold to object electors to one-fifth of each chamber instead of a singular member of Congress. The legislation would also strengthen laws surrounding the transfer of power even if the election results were contested.
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The proposed legislation is in response to Former President Donald Trump and his allies’ attempt to pressure then Vice President Mike Pence to reject certain electors in an attempt to overturn President Joe Biden‘s win in the 2020 election.
A more restrictive reform bill has been worked on by Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) and Zoe Lofgren (D-California), but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and most Republicans voted against it. The House bill would require one-third of both chambers to vote for the objection of electors.
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