WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Several members of the Senate aim to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to prevent another Capitol riot.
- Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Joe Manchin announced that they have already received support from 11 Republicans and 11 Democrats as bill co-sponsors.
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also announced his support, saying that it is only “common sense” to update a bill that’s over 100 years old.
The Senate is set to vote on the reformation of the Electoral Count Act, a bipartisan legislation aimed to prevent another incident like the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that he will “proudly” support the passing of the “common sense” bill.
Last week, the House passed a similar effort, with eleven Senate Republicans already announcing their support. On Tuesday, the bill was voted to advance by the Senate Rules Committee, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) being the only objecting committee member.
McConnell declared on Tuesday, “I strongly support the modest changes that our colleagues in the working group have fleshed out after literally months of detailed discussions. I’ll proudly support the legislation, provided that nothing more than technical changes are made to its current form.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) announced last week that 11 Republicans and 11 Democrats will co-sponsor the bill, in addition to the two of them.
Collins and Manchin said on Tuesday that the bipartisan bill has already received support from “election law experts and organizations across the ideological spectrum and a broad cross-section of Senators from both parties.” Still, they will continue to work to “increase support for our legislation that would correct the flaws in this archaic and ambiguous law.”
The bill proponents are hoping that more Republican senators will be encouraged to support the measure following McConnell’s declaration of support.
The bill aims to reform and modernize the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to ensure that the electoral votes counted by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for president. It also clarifies guidelines for when the elected president and vice president can be given federal resources to support their transition to office.
The General Services Administration is responsible for presidential transitions. For the last transition, the Trump-picked administrator provided President-elect Biden access to office space, key funding, and classified intelligence briefings.
The House passed the Presidential Election Reform Act last week. The bill ensures that Congress receives each state’s electoral certificate, which accurately reflects the voters’ will. It also reiterates that the vice president only has a ministerial role in the approval of electoral votes.
According to a CBS News poll in January 2022, about 75% of respondents believe that Congress must accept the states’ certified election results, while only 25% believe that Congress can accept or reject the results.
Source: CBS News