House passes bill to reform Electoral Count Act

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Age: 65
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21 Sep 2022, 8:43 pm

CBS News

The House on Wednesday passed a bill to reform the Electoral Count Act, an effort by Republican Rep. Liz Cheney and others to prevent another Jan. 6, 2021, when pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol in an effort to disrupt the counting of electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election. The final vote was 229 to 203, with nine Republicans joining Democrats to support the bill.

Those nine Republicans were Cheney and Reps. Tom Rice, Adam Kinzinger, Peter Meijer, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Fred Upton, John Katko, Anthony Gonzales and Chris Jacobs.

The Presidential Election Reform Act, sponsored by Cheney and fellow House Jan. 6 committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren, ensures that Congress receives an electoral certificate from each state that accurately reflects the will of the voters, requires Congress to count electoral votes as the Constitution stipulates, and reaffirms that the vice president's role in approving electoral votes is merely ministerial, after Trump publicly urged then-Vice President Mike Pence to to "reject fraudulently chosen electors." Pence refused, saying he had no authority to do so.

The bill also increases the threshold for any objection made in the House or Senate to a state's electoral votes, from one member of each chamber to one-third member of each chamber.

"Let me be clear — this is a kitchen table issue for families, and we must ensure that this anti-democratic plot cannot succeed," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor ahead of the vote. "It's a kitchen table issue because denying the American people their fundamental freedom to choose their own leaders denies them their voice in the policies we pursue and those policies can make an immense difference in their everyday lives."

House GOP leaders encouraged Republican members to vote against the bill. None of the nine Republicans who voted for it will be on the ballot in November, with four having lost primaries to Trump-backed challengers and five opting not to run for relection. Eight of them voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for his actions ahead of the Jan. 6 attack.

The measure will still need to pass the Senate before it can be signed by President Biden.

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