, 2022-09-21 20:54:00,
The bill passed on a 229-203 vote, with just nine Republicans breaking ranks and joining Democrats in supporting the measure. None of those nine Republican lawmakers will be members of Congress next year — either because they lost their primaries or chose to retire.
The Presidential Election Reform Act, written by Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), explicitly cites the Capitol attack as a reason to amend the Electoral Count Act of 1887, “to prevent other future unlawful efforts to overturn Presidential elections and to ensure future peaceful transfers of Presidential power.”
“Legal challenges are not improper, but Donald Trump’s refusal to abide by the rulings of the courts certainly was,” Cheney said Wednesday during House debate on the measure. “In our system of government, elections in the states determine who is the president. Our bill does not change that. But this bill will prevent Congress from illegally choosing the president itself.”
Later, Cheney added, “This bill is a very important and crucial bill to ensure that what happened on January 6 never happens again.”
President Donald Trump had falsely told his supporters that Vice President Mike Pence had the power to reject electoral votes already certified by the states. Pence did not do so — and has repeatedly emphasized that the Constitution provides the vice president with no such authority. But on Jan. 6, many in the pro-Trump mob that overran the Capitol began chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!” on the misguided belief that the vice president could have stopped Congress from certifying Biden’s victory.
The Presidential Election Reform Act would clearly reaffirm that the vice president has no role in validating a presidential election beyond acting as a figurehead who oversees the counting process, barring that person from changing the results. It also would expand the threshold necessary for members of both chambers to object to a state’s results, as well as clarify the role governors play in the process. Finally, it would make clear that state legislatures can’t change election rules retroactively to alter the results.
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