House Republicans were left in the dark on an important bill passed by the House of Representatives that would alter Presidental election rules, rules that Rep. Liz Cheney believed to have led to January 6th. The bill passed with support from all House Democrats, and only nine Republicans. The Presidental Election Reform Act, sponsored by (D – California) Rep. Zoe Lofgren, and (R – Wyoming) Rep. Liz Cheney, looks to change the ability of a president to convince the Vice President of challenging electoral vote counts, like President Trump is alleged to have done with Vice President Mike Pence. Both Representatives are on the select committee investigating the January 6th protest, and believe that the perception that the Vice President had the ability to overturn the election in favor of the President is what lead to the Capitol Hill protest on January 6th.
The bill that passed in the House on Wednesday amends the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to clarify that the vice president only has a ministerial role and cannot interfere with the process or make judgments about the validity of electoral college votes. Cheney said that language was aimed at preventing a repeat of Trump’s actions.
The bill also makes it much harder for lawmakers to object to the validity of electoral votes. Currently, one member each from the House and Senate is needed to lodge an objection, but the bill would require one-third of both chambers before an objection can be heard.
Democrats accused Republicans who failed to back the bill of supporting violent extremism.“Our Republican colleagues who are opposed to this legislation once again find themselves on the side of violent extremists,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif. He said passing the bill is a move to “protect rule of law, strengthen the Constitution and vote against insurrection.”
Republicans fumed that they were left out of the process of developing the bill and noted the bill appeared without any hearing to change to amend it. They also accused Democrats of trying to keep voters’ attention on Donald Trump during the midterm elections.
Republicans did acknowledge that clarifying the vice president’s role as ministerial is a welcome idea, and several agreed that no vice president should have the power to pick the winner of the presidential election on the fly. But some Republicans said the Cheney-Lofgren bill goes too far in prescribing election rules for states.
The legislation requires governors to transmit their election results to the Archivist of the United States by Dec. 14 and allows candidates to file legal action against governors who fail to meet this requirement. It also requires states to determine their election results according to rules in place at the time of the election but allows states to extend elections in the event of a natural disaster that prevents a “substantial portion” of voters from voting or destroys or makes ballots unreadable.
Liz Cheney lost her primary election, and has since stated that she will not be continuing to run for office as a Republican if Donald Trump is still the leader of the Republican party. Judging by Cheney’s loss to a Trump-backed Harriet Hageman, Cheney’s mission to shift Republicans away from Donald Trump and more towards her never-Trump style of politics appears to be failing quickly. Donald Trump is still considered the likely front runner for the Republican candidate in the 2024 Presidental race, with only Ron DeSantis polling close.
As discovered earlier through multiple polls, Americans on average don’t care about January 6th nearly as much as Liz Cheney wants them to – certainly not enough to follow along with an investigation for an incident that’s nearly 2 years old.