His support comes a week after the House passed its version
Both bills seek to clarify VP’s role as purely ceremonial during vote count
Trump in 2020 demanded Mike Pence refuse to accept certified votes
Both bills raise the threshold for raising an objection to votes during count
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday threw his support behind legislation to reform the Electoral Count Act, saying it would prevent the ‘chaos’ that occurred in 2020 when Congress met Jan. 6 to count the electoral votes.
McConnell made his statement on the Senate floor as the at the Senate Rules Committee, prepared to consider legislation that has already drawn bipartisan support, with the potential to come up in a ‘lame duck’ session after the elections.
The House last week advanced its own version, coauthored by GOP Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Zoe Lofgren (R-Calif.), who are both members of the House select committee probing the events of Jan. 6th.
‘I strongly support the modest changes that our colleagues in the working group have fleshed out after months of detailed discussions,’ McConnell said, adding that he would ‘proudly support’ it, so long as no more than ‘technical changes’ are made to it.
Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he ‘proudly’ supports legislation that will modify the Electoral Count Act and is meant to discourage frivolous challenges to electoral votes certified by states
He thanked eight other Republicans who are backing it, Sens. Susan Collins, Shelley Moore Capito, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, Thom Tillis and Todd Young, in the latest sign that there will be support sufficient to overcome a filibuster. Backers have already said they have 10 Republican supporters.
McConnell, who denounced Trump in a floor speech after Jan. 6th, also took a shot at Democrats, who have raised objections during the counting of electoral votes in the past – but never when a candidate and allies were pushing to overturn the results like in 2020.
‘Congress’s process for counting the presidential electors’ votes was written 135 years ago. The chaos that came to a head on January 6th of last year certainly underscored the need for an update. So did Januaries 2001, 2005, and 2017; in each of which, Democrats tried to challenge the lawful election of a Republican president,’ said McConnell.
The House version of legislation to modify the 1887 law passed the chamber last week on a 229-203 vote, with just nine Republicans including Cheney crossing the aisle to support it.
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