The House of Representatives passed the Presidential Election Reform Act on Wednesday, in an attempt to stop future presidents from attempting to overturn election results through Congress. File Pool Photo by Al Drago/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 21 (UPI) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Presidential Election Reform Act on Wednesday, in an attempt to stop future presidents from attempting to overturn election results through Congress.
The vote passed by a count of 229 to 220 and one abstention, with nine Republicans crossing the aisle to support the initiative.
“Denying American people their fundamental freedom to choose their own leaders, denies them their voice in the policies we pursue,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on Wednesday, while addressing her colleagues from the House floor.
“We take an oath to protect and defend the constitution of the United States. This legislation is in furtherance of that of honoring that oath of office.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., both of whom sit on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots.
The two co-wrote an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, where they said the legislation’s goal was to ensure no presidential election could be stolen.
The bill reaffirms that the vice president has no role in validating the results of an election. It also expands the threshold necessary for congressional officials to object to a state’s result, and makes clear that a state legislatures can’t change election rules to alter the results after an election takes place.
“Our proposal is intended to preserve the rule of law for all future presidential elections by ensuring that self-interested politicians cannot steal from the people the guarantee that our government derives its power from the consent of the governed,” Cheney and Lofgren wrote in their op-ed.
Experts have been calling for changes to the Electoral Count Act, which was first passed in 1887.
“The federal law governing the casting and counting of electoral votes — the Electoral Count Act of 1887 — is severely flawed and can no longer be relied upon to ensure a peaceful conclusion to presidential elections,” the cross-partisan National Task Force on Election Crisis said in a statement, prior to the vote.
The Jan. 6 committee plans to hold a hearing on Sept. 28, which could be the panel’s final public hearing. Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said that the hearing would reveal new information and footage that has not yet been made public.
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