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House Passes Presidential Election Reform Act

The United States House of Representatives has passed new legislation designed to specifically define the role legislators have in the vote certification process.

The Presidential Election Reform Act, co-authored by both members of the January 6 investigation House Subcommittee, Democrat Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, would alter the 135-year-old statute known as the Electoral Count Act.

The bill was introduced on September 19 and voted on just two days later and passed 229-203 following a procedural vote on September 21. Lofgren said the bill “will make it harder to convince people that they have the right to overthrow the election.”

“The Electoral Count Act of 1887 should be amended to prevent other future unlawful efforts to overturn Presidential elections and to ensure future peaceful transfers of Presidential power,” reads the PERA.

The bill also mandates that governors transmit election results from their states and prohibits state legislatures from altering election results. Should a governor refuse to support a court order regarding electors, the bill permits the courts to “designate another state official to submit a legitimate certificate,” per Talking Points Memo.

Every Democrat present voted in favor of the measure along with Cheney and the other Republican member of the January 6 subcommittee, Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. The additional support came from seven other Republicans – Representatives Fred Upton of Michigan, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Tom Rice of South Carolina, John Katko of New York, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio and Chris Jacobs of New York.

Congressional Republicans opposed the bill, noting that it left clear pathways for Congress to invalidate the results of an election and questioning the rushed-paced with which it was being moved through the legislative process.

Congressman Tom McClintock of California said the policy’s regulations regarding the electoral college are “clumsy and partisan.” He also said that while PERA limits “the grounds upon which the count can be interfered with by the Congress … it still allows Congress to invalidate electoral votes so it does not solve the problem.”

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis questioned the push for the express processing of the bill when the next presidential certification won’t happen for over two years, voicing his assessment that it is merely an attempt at drumming up partisan support for the coming midterm elections.

The measure currently has 10 Republican co-sponsors and is likely to survive a filibuster attempt.

According to Chairman Bennie Thompson, the representative from Mississippi, the January 6 Subcommittee will hold its next public hearing on Sept. 28 where supposedly new, yet-unrevealed information and footage will be presented.

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