Sep 14, 2022 - Politics & Policy

House members introduce reforms to election bill

Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. preside over election certification.

Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) preside over the the final certification of Electoral College votes on Jan. 7, 2021. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite - Pool/Getty Images

Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.) on Wednesday introduced reforms to the Electoral Count Act of 1887, months after a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a similar effort.

Driving the news: The proposed legislation, called the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, is similar to the bipartisan effort in the Senate to reform and modernize the Electoral Count Act, per NBC News, which first reported on the legislation.

  • Gottheimer and Upton's bill, like the Senate effort, seeks to clarify the role of the vice president in certifying election results and includes reforms to the process of selecting electors.
  • The legislation also proposes changes to the Presidential Transition Improvement Act, which governs how the outgoing administration is required to cooperate with the incoming one.
  • The bill was cosponsored in the Senate by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), among other senators.

The big picture: A bipartisan group of 16 senators in July introduced legislation to reform and modernize the Electoral Count Act.

  • If passed, the bill would mark the first major legislative response to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and the events that it preceded it, Axios' Sophia Cai and Andrew Solender report.

What they're saying: "With this bipartisan, bicameral legislation, both sides of the aisle are coming together to protect our great democracy, preserve the integrity of our elections, and prevent any attempts to undermine them," Gottheimer said in a statement.

  • "Americans want certainty in elections, not vested parties’ interpretations of laws from the 1800s," Upton said.
  • "By clearly specifying the procedures for counting electoral votes, this bill provides the clarity voters need to know their vote for president matters."

Go deeper: Senators unveil bipartisan legislation to reform counting of electors

Go deeper