It’s past jaw-dropping that Congress is just now getting round to fixing the Electoral Count Act, and is unlikely to complete the job till a post-Election Day lame-duck session.
The 1887 regulation governs how the states and Congress certify electors and presidential election outcomes; it was central to then-President Donald Trump’s efforts to derail remaining certification of Joe Biden because the 2020 winner — and thus to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Democrats have been waving the bloody shirt ever since, but it wasn’t till Tuesday, 622 days after the riot, that the Democrat-controlled Home finally moved on a bipartisan bill to scrub up the regulation by passing the Presidential Elections Reform Act, 229-203.
Till now, the bulk get together had tried to tie up the problem with its bigger agenda of nationalizing (and liberalizing) all election regulation. Remaining worries that the invoice will someway nonetheless grow to be a car for that nonsense is Republicans’ important excuse for opposing it, although fears of offending Trump supporters is plainly within the combine, too: Solely 9 GOP reps (who’re all retiring this 12 months) voted for it.
But the Home invoice shouldn’t be controversial: It merely 1) clarifies the vice chairman’s function in presiding over the depend as purely ceremonial, 2) establishes guardrails in opposition to state officers who attempt to disregard election outcomes and three) requires one-third of the members of the Home and Senate to object to a state’s electors, somewhat than the present one lawmaker in every chamber, to pressure a full vote on the query.
The Senate model, the Electoral Count Reform Act, is barely totally different, e.g., requiring solely one-fifth of the lawmakers in each chambers to object. However it’s additionally a bipartisan invoice, with 10 Republicans on board and so certain to move if no Dems strive any last-minute video games; it seems to be like Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell is leaning towards backing the reform, too.
However it’s unclear when Majority Chief Chuck Schumer will transfer it to the Senate ground for passage. (To be honest, numerous different enterprise is pressing, like guaranteeing the federal government doesn’t shut down — however that’s one more reason Schumer ought to’ve gotten this achieved way back.)
After which the Home and Senate should mix-n-match for a consensus invoice to move once more, with treasured few working days left earlier than Nov. 8. Therefore the probability that the repair gained’t be achieved for months but — with some threat that it’ll be left to the following Congress, when the GOP is prone to management no less than the Home and the entire thing will get much more (needlessly) difficult.
Sufficient: Schumer and Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi have an obligation to the nation to make sure remaining passage of the bipartisan reform of the Electoral Depend Act. The peaceable transition of presidential energy ought to by no means be doubtful once more.