A bipartisan group in Congress agreed to make it harder to overturn a certified presidential election, marking the most significant measure by Congress in response to former President Trump‘s vigorous campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 election certified.
The deal is the culmination of months of negotiation led by Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, along with an additional six Democrats and eight Republicans. The proposal unveiled Wednesday is split up into two bills. Announcement of the plan kicks off what is expected to be a challenging, months-long process to get the deal passed into law before the end of the year.
In an attempt to prevent disruption in the presidential transition process, two new bills have been introduced in the Senate—one that focuses on modernizing and overhauling the Electoral Count Act and another that focuses on providing guidelines for when candidates can receive federal resources for a transition into office. The first bill, if passed, would clarify that the vice president only has a ceremonial role in overseeing the certification of electoral votes from each state. The second bill contains key provisions intended to promote an orderly transition of presidential power by outlining guidelines for when eligible candidates can receive federal resources for a transition into office. Should neither candidate concede within five days of Election Day, both candidates would be able to receive access to federal transition resources until it is substantially certain who will win the majority of electoral votes. Ultimately, only one candidate will be eligible when there is a clear winner of the election.”
In the time after the revelation of efforts by Trump allies to put forth illegitimate voters, the Safe Elections Act constricts the scope of this book of anniversary.
A bill sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers would change the current system for counting electoral votes in Congress, requiring each side to cast separate votes on whether to accept or reject election results if one senator and one House member object to them. Under current law, just one senator can join one House member in forcing each side to vote on whether to throw out results subject to an objection. The bill is co-sponsored by the nine Republicans and seven Democrats who announced the deal. According to the fact sheet, the proposal dealing with the vice president’s role would make clear that the responsibility is “solely ministerial and that he or she does not have any power to solely determine, accept, reject, or otherwise adjudicate disputes over electors.”
The second bill is aimed at providing increased security when voting and would increase federal penalties for individuals who are recorded as threatening or intimidating an election official or tamper with election records. The bill is co-sponsored by five Republicans and seven Democrats.
The Electoral College certification is signed by the electors of each state and sent to Congress, which assembles in a joint session on January 6 every four years to count and certify the results. While constitutional experts say the vice president currently can’t disregard a state-certified electoral result, Trump pushed then-Vice President Mike Pence to obstruct the Electoral College certification in Congress as part of his pressure campaign. But Pence refused to do so and, as a result, became a target of the former President and his mob of supporters who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said the bill would make it harder to overturn an election when a joint session of Congress convenes to certify a presidential election. “Anything we can do and show to the American public that we realize how serious that day was, and that we’re going to do all we can to prevent a repeat of January 6th,” he said.”
Any future vice president, under no circumstances, may overturn the true decision made by the votes of the people and the electors. Warner said this.