Congress moves ahead on Electoral Count Act reforms in response to Jan. 6

By | December 20, 2022

The Washington Post reports:

A bipartisan bill that would change how members of Congress could object to electoral votes has been included in a sweeping spending bill lawmakers unveiled early Tuesday that must be approved in the coming days to fund all government agencies and departments.

The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), would amend the Electoral Count Act of 1887 and reaffirm that the vice president has only a ministerial role at the joint session of Congress where electoral college votes are counted. The measure also would raise the threshold necessary for members of Congress to object to a state’s electors.

The bill was driven by the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, when a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters sought to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s win. Lawmakers have warned a similar effort could disrupt future electoral counts without changes to the process.

In a joint statement Tuesday, Collins and Manchin said they were “pleased” their bill had been included in the larger omnibus appropriations bill and noted the former was the result of nearly a year of bipartisan negotiations. [Continue reading…]

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