A handful of outgoing Republicans backed a bill to modernize the Electoral Accounts Act, which former President Donald Trump sought to use a 135-year-old bill to block Joe Biden from becoming president.
The House, on Wednesday in a 220-203 vote, passed the presidential election reform bill, the first major legislative electoral reform following the January 6 uprising and Trump’s attempt to stay in office. The law is intended to clarify the role of Congress in certifying presidential elections. Nine Republicans who retired or lost the primary elected voted in favor of the bill as a sign of continued guerrilla divisions over the course of January 6.
The law was drafted in response to efforts by Trump and his allies to put pressure on then Vice President Mike Pence, who chaired a joint session of Congress to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election to reject voting votes from states that Trump falsely claimed to have been damaged by fraud.
Stating that he intends to “prevent other future unlawful efforts to overturn the presidential election and ensure a future peaceful transfer of presidential power,” the law explains that the vice president has a strictly ministerial role.
“On Jan. 6, the president stirred up a mob, told them the vice president could overthrow the election, and a majority of republicans in this House voted to reject the decision made by US voters, which is reflected in the Electoral College because there is no reason other than false claims of fraud.” Democrat representative Zoe Lofgren said in Wednesday’s House debate.
Lofgren said the bill prevented Congress from hearing objections to electoral certification unless supported by a third of each house, which she said would prevent “invalid” claims of proceedings being derailed.
Republican Liz Cheney said the bill had input from conservative constitutional experts and “confirms what the constitution and applicable law explain.”
The Republicans who voted for the bill include Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who have become staunch critics of Trump and serve in the District Chamber investigating the January 6 uprising.
GOP representative Peter Meijer, who lost the Michigan primary, said in: tweet that he voted for the bill because an ambiguity in the law was cited as justification for opposing the certification of the 2020 presidential election.
The other six Republican supporters were: South Carolina’s Tom Rice; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington State; Fred Upton of Michigan; John Katko and Chris Jacobs from New York; and Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio.
Other Republicans in the House of Representatives condemned the bill, saying it would not solve the problems reported by January 6, and it was a Democratic guerrilla tactic.
Republican representative Rodney Davis said during the debate that Democrats pushed a “false narrative” that members of the GOP Congress were either “electoral subversives or denying attempts to overturn the elections.” He pointed out that Democrats regularly raised objections when Congress approved previous elections.
Noting that he lost the primary, Davis said Democrats were trying to move Trump as the mid-term elections loomed.
“It’s time for the House of Democrats to stop playing guerrilla political games and pushing for false narratives just to maintain its own power,” he said.
Legislation also requires states to elect their electors to vote in the Electoral College in accordance with pre-election rules to prevent legislators from rejecting results they do not like.
Republican representative Tom McClintock called the legislation “clumsy and biased”, saying that it did not solve the problems already inherent in a guerilla organization certifying results when creating new ones.
Newsweek contacted Cheney for comment.
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