CHICAGO — A resolution to the Republican National Committee this week would support a bipartisan effort in Congress to prevent future attempts to undermine the popular vote and hand the presidency to the losing candidate.
It also presents a dilemma for a party that former President Donald Trump still largely dominates.
Sponsored by Bill Palatucci, a New Jersey member of the committee who believes Trump has “disqualified” himself from being president again, the resolution calls for revision of the Electoral Count Act, the Capitol 19 law that governs the transfer of power disturbed.
The measure does not mention Trump by name or refer to his efforts to dissuade then-Vice President Mike Pence from confirming Joe Biden’s victory. Nor does it address the Jan. 6 House Committee hearings laying out an interlocking effort by Trump forces to retain power.
Instead, the resolution calls on Congress to reform or replace the Electoral Counts Act “to prevent a repeat of the January 6, 2021 tragedy” and “important American institutions in the minds of most Americans and our allies around the world.” ” to protect.
Even though the resolution is written so as not to specifically blame Trump, RNC members might still cringe at language suggesting a “campaign of misinformation” that Congress could “overturn the election.”
A major theme of the Jan. 6 House Committee hearings was that Trump and his outside advisers misled his supporters into believing that widespread fraud was robbing him of victory. Recounts and trials have not revealed evidence of fraud on a scale to nullify Biden’s victory. But Trump still commands enough loyalty within the RNC — chaired by Ronna McDaniel, whom he selected for the job in 2016 — that it might be reluctant to confirm one of the House panel’s core arguments.
The RNC is holding its summer meeting in Chicago this week. Palatucci said he plans to present the resolution at a panel on Thursday. He previewed the argument he plans to make at the closed-door session.
“I don’t care what you think of Donald Trump. I don’t care what you think of Liz Cheney,” he said, referring to the vice chair of the January 6 committee of the House of Representatives. “The peaceful transfer of power is so important to American democracy that we should clear up the confusion that has arisen. You can blame whoever you want, but I have nothing to do with urging Congress to fix what was obviously a problem last year.”
The Senate Rules Committee held a hearing Wednesday on the Electoral Count Act and amendments to the Electoral Code. A bipartisan group of senators recently introduced legislation to revise the 1887 law to clarify that the vice president cannot refuse voters. The measures would also raise the threshold for objecting to a state’s voters from one member of the House and Senate to one-fifth of each chamber.
The aim is to close gaps in electoral law and prevent future attempts to overturn an election. The negotiations, led by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joe Manchin, DW.Va., were supported by Senate leaders from both parties. It is unclear when the Senate will vote on the bills.
Collins told the Rules Committee that the “vote counting process was abused” and that “the forcible break-in of the Capitol on March 6
She said the Senate group that crafted the proposals — which includes Republicans like Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Mitt Romney of Utah and Ben Sasse of Nebraska — “is united in our determination to prevent the flaws in this law from becoming a reality.” 1887 being used to undermine the future presidential election.”
“Nothing is more important to the survival of a democracy than the orderly transfer of power,” she said. “And for the orderly transfer of power, there is nothing more essential than clear rules on how to influence them.”
House Democrat leaders have also signaled an interest in an overhaul of the Electoral Counts Act, but say they will await the January 6 committee’s legislative recommendations – expected later this year – before approving any legislation.
Palatucci’s resolution tracks the work of the bipartisan group of senators. He, too, wants to clarify the role of vice presidents so there is no confusion about their limited powers when Congress counts the electoral vote every four years.
“We must do everything we can to avoid a repeat of January 6, 2021,” Palatucci said. “And a big part of that is clearing up the confusion that a lot of people just had about the role of Congress and the constituents and the vice president.”
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/republicans-soon-put-spot-endorsing-efforts-reform-electoral-count-act-rcna41370 Republicans could soon be embarrassed for backing efforts to reform the Electoral Counts Act