The House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday to overhaul the 1887 Electoral Count Act and re-write election rules to benefit Democrats in presidential contests.
The bill, proposed by GOP Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California who is under Cheney on the Jan. 6 Committee, reforms the 135-year-old law to narrow the grounds for objections to presidential electors and open the door to late-day voting.
Cheney’s “Presidential Election Reform Act” became the Democrats’ answer to their failed effort to override state election laws in H.R. 1, which Senate Republicans blocked last summer. The legislation carries some of the same provisions of the doomed election bill at the top of Democrats’ congressional agenda. Just nine Republicans supported the bill, all but one of whom supported President Donald Trump’s second impeachment and are either retiring or have lost their primaries.
New York Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney, who co-chairs the Election Integrity Caucus, condemned the bill as “the latest attempt from House Democrats to stack the democratic process in their favor” and complained that the proposal did not go through the proper legislative process. The text was only released days before the Wednesday vote and received no bipartisan hearing or markup in committee.
“It is nothing more than a partisan messaging bill intended to score cheap political points weeks before an election,” Tenney said in a press release outlining the legislation’s flaws.
“The bill broadly defines a ‘catastrophic event,’ which could be used to extend balloting for up to five days after the polls close in a presidential election,” Tenney said. “It also tramples on the core principle of state sovereignty and directly contradicts the United States Constitution. The legislation also creates broad private rights of action in a backdoor to empower Democrat election lawyers and partisan operatives.”
The congresswoman from central New York called on her colleagues to outlaw the private takeover of elections through “Zuckerbucks” and boost security at the ballot box.
Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis similarly condemned the bill’s expedited passage through the lower chamber on the House floor and highlighted the hypocrisy over electoral objections.
“Democrats have objected to every single Republican presidential win in the 21st century,” Davis said.
In 2017, Democrats objected to more states certifying President Donald Trump’s win than Republicans did four years later for Joe Biden.
“I believe what the House Democrats and the Jan. 6 Committee are doing is irresponsible and wrong,” Davis said. “They have allowed their dislike for one man, President Trump, to cloud their judgment and guide their actions — no matter the consequences to this institution or the Constitution that they claim to want to uphold.”
According to Axios, similar legislation in the upper chamber has already drawn support from the 10 Republicans needed in the split Senate to circumvent a filibuster.