House adopts legislative review process to certify election

Written by

The House passed a bill overhauling the process to certify a presidential election in the wake of January 6 riots at the Capitol trying to disrupt the results of the 2020 race.

The legislation passed the House 229-203 on Wednesday, with nine Republicans joining all Democrats in voting for approval.

None of the nine GOP lawmakers will return to Congress next year.

The measure renews the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which, along with the Constitution, spells out how the states and Congress certify electors and declare presidential winners.

The process, which takes place every four years, came under scrutiny after violence broke out on January 6, 2021, when a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump tried to derail the certification.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the top Republican serving on House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6, said the legislation will protect election results.

This House Television photo shows House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California presiding as the House passes HR 8873 on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, at the Capitol in Washington.  The House passed legislation to overhaul the rules for certifying the results of a presidential election as lawmakers speed up their response to the January 6, 2021 coup and Donald Trump's failed bid to stay in power.
The House of Representatives passed a bill revamping the certification process for presidential elections.
House TV via AP
Rebels loyal to President Donald Trump gather at the US Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021.
Democrats supported the overhaul bill to prevent election results from being overturned.
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File

“Our bill will preserve the rule of law for all future presidential elections by ensuring that self-interested politicians cannot steal from the people the guarantee that our government derives its power from the consent of the governed,” said Cheney, who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D​-Calif.).

Before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called it a “kitchen table issue” for Americans to defend democracy.

“Let me be clear. This is a kitchen table issue for families, and we must make sure that this anti-democratic plan cannot succeed,” Pelosi said in a speech on the House floor.

“It’s a kitchen table issue because denying the American people their basic freedom to choose their own leaders denies them a voice in the policies we make, and those policies can make a huge difference in their everyday lives,” she said.

Rep.  Liz Cheney (R-WY), Vice Chair of the Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, takes the stage to speak during a lecture on Constitution Day at the American Enterprise Institute on Sept. 19, 2022, in Washington, DC.  Cheney spoke on a variety of topics, including the threat former President Donald Trump poses to the Republican Party and American democracy.
Outgoing Representative Liz Cheney championed the bill as stopping “self-interested politicians” from overturning election results.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Republicans, who agreed the rules should be updated, opposed the Cheney/Lofgren bill because they say it went too far.

“House Democrats are desperately trying to score cheap points on a bill that does nothing to improve voter counting laws and does everything to remove constitutional and state sovereignty over elections,” Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) said in a speech .

It is unclear how the legislation will fare in the Senate, which is also considering a bill to reform the law.

Rep.  Liz Cheney and Rep.  Zoe Lofgren co-sponsored the legislation.
Rep. Liz Cheney and Zoe Lofgren co-sponsored the legislation.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Senate version has the support of 10 Republican co-sponsors, which would clear the way for passage in the evenly divided chamber.

The House bill clarifies the vice president’s role in presiding over the count as ceremonial and dictates that the vice president cannot change the results.

It also says states can send only one certified set of electors to Congress after Team Trump unsuccessfully tried to create alternative lists of pro-Trump voters in swing states that former Vice President Joe Biden won.

Rep.  Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren promised the results of the presidential election will be further protected under the legislation.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

“This bill will make it harder to convince people that they have the right to overturn an election,” Lofgren said.

The House bill requires one-third of the members of the House and Senate to object to state voters, rather than the current legislature in each chamber.

The Senate version would require a fifth of lawmakers in both chambers to object.

Republicans who voted for the action include Reps. Cheney, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Tom Rice of South Carolina, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, John Katko of New York and Chris Jacobs of New York.

With Post wires

About the author

Leave a Comment