Scoop: House committee calls for changes to Trump-cited electoral act
The House Administration Committee — another key player in the building drive to reform the Electoral Count Act — will call for at least four changes to the century-old legislation in a report being released as early as this week, Axios has learned.
Why it matters: Calls to update the act, which dates to 1887 and was the vehicle by which former President Trump hoped to reverse his 2020 election loss, have been a rare area of bipartisan interest in both chambers.
What we're watching: The committee, chaired by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), will issue a 40-page report containing three sections: a history of the Electoral Count Act, a synopsis of the problems and a review of proposed reforms.
Key proposed reforms will include:
- Raising the threshold for an objection to certifying a state's election results from the tandem of one senator and one House member to a higher number.
- Clarifying that the role of the vice president is ceremonial in certifying presidential elections.
- Putting in place requirements for what an objection has to be in order to count as an objection.
- Clarifying the number of Electoral College votes required to become president when objections for a state with a certain number of Electoral College votes are being adjudicated.
A concurrent House bill, which is being shepherded by Lofgren and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), is close to being completed.
- It will "pick and choose" from the set of proposals in the House Administration Committee report, people familiar with the deliberations tell Axios.
But, but, but: The Jan 6. select committee is still working on investigating the lead-up to the Capitol attack and the many ways Trump supporters worked to thwart the will of voters.
- That ongoing effort will complicate the timing for the House bill.
The big picture: There are now efforts in both the House and Senate to reform the Electoral Count Act, after Senate Republicans expressed interest in it last week.
- In the Senate, a bipartisan group led by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is mulling over possible changes as a part of a broader push to strengthen election legislation.
- In the House, there have been months-long efforts to understand what went wrong on Jan. 6, 2021, and flaws in the Electoral Count Act as it stands.
Go deeper: The momentum has raised fears among other election-reform proponents.
- They worry alternations to the Electoral Count Act may undercut broader changes that can ensure federal election law supersedes recent Republican-led changes at the state and local levels.