Senator says he hopes Electoral Count Act is passed before November midterms
(The Hill) – Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said on Saturday that he hopes the newly proposed Electoral Count Act is passed through Congress and enacted before November’s midterm elections.
During an appearance on CNN’s “Newsroom,” Cardin told host Pamela Brown that he hopes the proposed legislation will be brought up the Senate floor by September, lauding the bipartisan effort.
“We do hope that it’ll be brought up before November’s election. We’re hoping that Leader [Chuck] Schumer will bring it to the floor in September. We have bipartisan support. We think we have enough support to pass this bill,” Cardin told Brown. “We’ve already talked to our colleagues in the House and I think they’re ready to take it up as soon as we pass it in the Senate.”
“So we do hope that this bill would be enacted prior to the November elections. Let’s get this done. Let’s make it very clear. And I am very proud of the fact that this is bipartisan,” Cardin added. “We have Democrats and Republicans working together that recognize that Electoral Count Act particularly needs to be enacted immediately.”
The Electoral Count Act, unveiled by a bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday, intends to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887 by making sure that the sitting vice president doesn’t have the power to overturn a presidential election and make it harder for lawmakers to object the Electoral College vote.
The proposed legislation came in response to the Jan 6, 2021 attack at the Capitol, where a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in an effort to stop the certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory. Former President Trump had pressured his Vice President Mike Pence to overturn results in certain states in order to hand Trump a win but Pence said it was not within his authority.
The purpose of the act is to reiterate the vice president’s ceremonious role in Congress’ counting of Electoral College votes after a presidential election.
Cardin, one of the co-sponsors of the proposed legislation, added that the Capitol insurrection played a role in the creation of the Electoral Count Act, saying that lawmakers want to make sure that something like this never happens again.
“So the laws that are in effect before the election are what used in order to, who certifies the electors, and how that process moves forward,” Cardin told Brown. “So clearly, these most recent hearings, point out what happened on January 6, we want to make sure that never happens again, and one of the things we can do is clarify our election laws.”