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U.S. Republican McConnell backs Jan. 6-linked electoral reform bill

Politics Sep 27, 2022 06:22PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters following the Senate Republicans weekly policy lunch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., September 20, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo

By David Morgan and Katharine Jackson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday voiced qualified support for a bipartisan Senate bill to clarify Congress' role in certifying presidential election results, calling it the only chance to prevent any future chaos like the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol assault.

"I'll proudly support the legislation provided that nothing more than practical changes are made to its current form," McConnell said in a floor speech.

"This bill, as introduced, is the only chance to get an outcome and to actually make law," he added.

Fourteen lawmakers from both parties on the Senate Rules Committee, including McConnell himself, later voted on Tuesday to approve the bill for an eventual floor vote.

Former President Donald Trump's supporters launched a deadly attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 in a bid to stop Congress from certifying his election defeat, which the then-president falsely claimed was the result of widespread fraud. They trained their anger on then-Vice President Mike Pence, urging him to reject the results, an authority that Pence said he did not hold.

The bill would make clear that the vice president's role in certification is purely ceremonial and would require one-fifth of the House of Representatives and the Senate to agree to challenge a state's results. Current law allows objections to proceed with the support of just one lawmaker from each chamber.

Only Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican who had objected to President Joe Biden's 2020 victory on Jan. 6, 2021, voted against the legislation in the rules committee on Tuesday.

McConnell's remarks appeared to warn Democrats against altering the bill, known as the Electoral Count Reform Act, which already seems to have enough co-sponsors from each party to secure the 60 votes necessary for passage in the evenly split 100-seat chamber.

Lawmakers expect to enact reform legislation before the end of the year. But they will need to confront differences between the Senate bill and similar legislation that passed the House last week, before a final bill can be sent to Democratic President Joe Biden for his signature.

House Republicans opposed their chamber's version of the bill, arguing that it goes too far.

New legislation would reform the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which contains vague language on certification that Trump and his supporters sought to use to overturn Biden's 2020 victory.

In addition to the Jan. 6 violence, 139 House Republicans and eight Senate Republicans including Cruz voted to challenge results in key states.

The House bill would require at least one-third of the members of the House and Senate to agree to challenge a state's certification.

U.S. Republican McConnell backs Jan. 6-linked electoral reform bill
 

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Comments (5)
gab nea
gab nea Oct 04, 2022 7:32PM ET
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McConnell keeps licking trump's rear, even after he insulted him and his wife! ask will smith what to do, twerp!
gab nea
gab nea Oct 03, 2022 7:46AM ET
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the Republican obstructionists are at it again! they like lawlessness. vote them to the curb if you like america!
Notvery Goodathis
Peteymcletey Sep 28, 2022 12:39AM ET
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what about when they tried overturning 2016 election? literally had massive Hollywood push urging electors to change votes. provision to stop both, or it's useless.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 28, 2022 12:39AM ET
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Oh, please. Hillary Clinton conceded and even graciously attended Trump's inauguration.
gab nea
gab nea Sep 28, 2022 12:39AM ET
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the Republicans could never defend the sore loser! they lie, deflect but it doesn't work. orange liar is indefensible! vote Republicans out!
gab nea
gab nea Sep 28, 2022 12:39AM ET
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republicans lie and deflect but never defend the sour orange loser!
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 27, 2022 5:44PM ET
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Good for McConnell. This is something any American should support.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 27, 2022 5:44PM ET
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In your native language, do they have a word for bipartisan?
John Hill
John Hill Sep 27, 2022 4:32PM ET
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"a deadly attack"??? that is correct. a guard that died from a heart attack. and a protester that was unjustifiably murdered by one of the guards. I hope McConnell is voted out the next time he is up for re-election.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 27, 2022 4:32PM ET
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Cool! If it fails, you can tell everybody how you favored having Vice-Prsident Harris pick the president in 2024.
 
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