McConnell Announces Support for Bipartisan Update to Electoral Count Act

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U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks Tuesday on the Senate floor regarding the Electoral Count Act:

“This afternoon, those of us on the Rules Committee will mark up a bipartisan package of updates to the Electoral Count Act of 1887. 

“I strongly support the modest changes that our colleagues in the working group have fleshed out after months of detailed discussions.

“I will proudly support the legislation, provided that nothing more than technical changes are made to its current form.

“I want to thank Senator Collins and Senators Capito, Murkowski, Portman, Romney, Sasse, Tillis, and Young for their intense work with Democratic colleagues to get this right.

“Congress’s process for counting the presidential electors’ votes was written 135 years ago. The chaos that came to a head on January 6th of last year certainly underscored the need for an update. So did Januaries 2001, 2005, and 2017; in each of which, Democrats tried to challenge the lawful election of a Republican president.

“Obviously, in every case, our system of government won out. The Electoral Count Act ultimately produced the right conclusion: Certainty, finality, and the transfer of power to the winning candidate. But it’s clear the country needs a more predictable path to that outcome.

“This bipartisan bill does not rashly replace current law with something untested. It keeps what’s worked well and modestly updates what has not. 

“The bill’s sponsors debated every provision and found bipartisan consensus.  Bad ideas were left on the cutting room floor.

“The resulting product — this bill, as introduced — is the only chance to get an outcome and make law.

“Here’s what the legislation does.

“It raises the threshold for objecting to the electoral count — preserving options if something incredibly unlikely were to happen, but ensuring claims with hardly any support can’t paralyzing the process.

“It makes the already plain fact of the 12th Amendment even clearer: that the Vice President has never had, and will never have, discretionary powers over the counting.

“It protects states’ primacy in appointing their electors, but ensures they publicize the rules before the election.

“It rejects unwise changes like creating new causes of action that would leave every election up to the courts and create uncertainty.

“It makes modest technical updates to other pertinent laws, such as the Presidential Transitions Act.

“And Senator Collins’s bill does all these modest but important things without capitulating to our Democratic colleagues’ obsession with a sweeping federal takeover of all election law.

“I look forward to supporting the legislation as introduced in committee.”



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