The House will begin voting on Wednesday, andan effort by Republican Rep. Liz Cheney and others to prevent another one when pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the counting of electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election.
The Presidential Election Reform Act, sponsored by Cheney and his House colleague, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, ensures that Congress receives electoral certification from each state that accurately reflects the will of the voters, requires Congress to count electoral votes as the Constitution requires, and reaffirms that the vice president’s role in approving electoral votes is ministerial only, after former President Trump publicly called on then-Vice President Mike Pence to “reject fraudulently elected electors.” Pence refused, saying he didn’t have the authority to do so.
The bill also raises the threshold for any objection in the House or Senate to a state’s electoral votes, from one member of each house to one-third of the members of each house.
The bill is expected to pass the House, although it is unclear how much Republican support it will receive. House GOP leaders are encouraging Republican members to vote against the bill. The measure will still need to pass the Senate before it can be signed by President Biden.
The first vote on the Presidential Election Reform Act on Wednesday is procedural; the time for voting on the final adoption of the law has not yet been announced.
“What Donald Trump tried to convince the vice president to do was illegal under existing law and we start by acknowledging that, but then we have to take steps to make sure another January 6th is something that never happens again,” he said is Cheney on the call on Tuesday.
In the Senate, Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin announced Wednesday that a similar bill, the Election Counting Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, now has 10 GOP cosponsors and 10 Democratic cosponsors. The fact that 10 Republicans are signing on as co-sponsors indicates that there is enough support to pass the bill in the Senate.
“We are pleased that bipartisan support continues to grow for these common-sense and much-needed reforms to the Election Counting Act of 1887,” Manchin and Collins said in a statement Wednesday. “Our bill is supported by election law experts and organizations 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.”
— Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report