Senate Bipartisan Group Reaches Agreement On Electoral Count Act Reform
The Senate bipartisan group working to protect election integrity introduced two bills on Wednesday in response to former President Donald Trump and his allies’ efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
Efforts, led by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), resulted in an agreement to specify the vice president’s role in the oversight of certification of electoral votes is strictly ceremonial. This comes after then-Vice President Mike Pence was pressured to take advantage of the outdated 1887 Electoral Count Act that loosely defined his role, and reject certain electors from swing states to overturn the election in favor of Trump.
The bill also addresses guidelines for the orderly transition of power including outlining the timeline of when a candidate can receive federal support to transition into the White House.
The new provisions will now face a vote in both chambers. In the Senate, the bills will need to garner 10 Republican votes to break the 60-vote threshold required to avoid the filibuster. There were nine Republicans included in the bipartisan group and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has indicated he will likely support the bills.
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The second bill updates the previous requirement that just one member of the House or Senate could object and challenge a state’s electors. Should the bill pass, it will require a 20% threshold of members of each chamber to vote in support of challenging a certain elector. It would also increase penalties for anyone who interferes with the election.
“Through numerous meetings and debates among our colleagues as well as conversations with a wide variety of election experts and legal scholars, we have developed legislation that establishes clear guidelines for our system of certifying the counting electoral votes for President and Vice President,” a statement from Manchin read. “We urge our colleagues in both parties to support these simple, commonsense reforms.”
We urge our colleagues in both parties to support these simple, commonsense reforms. Our full statement: pic.twitter.com/Dswa7mrNue
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) July 20, 2022
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