WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he will “proudly support” legislation to overhaul rules for certifying presidential elections, bolstering a bipartisan effort to revise a 19th century law and avoid another Jan. 6 insurrection.
The legislation would clarify and expand parts of the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which, along with the Constitution, governs how states and Congress certify electors and declare presidential winners. The changes in the certification process are in response to unsuccessful efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to exploit loopholes in the law to overturn his 2020 defeat to Joe Biden, and the violent attack on the Capitol by his supporters as Congress counted the votes .
“Congress’ process for counting the presidential electors’ votes was written 135 years ago,” McConnell said. “The chaos that came to a head on Jan. 6 of last year certainly underscored the need for an update.”
McConnell made the remarks just before the Senate Rules Committee voted 14-1 to approve the bill and send it to the Senate floor, where a vote is expected after the November election. The only senator to vote against the legislation was Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, one of two senators to stand and object to Biden’s certification last year.
The GOP leader’s endorsement gave the legislation a major boost as the bipartisan group pushes to pass the bill before the end of the year and ahead of the next election cycle. Trump is still pushing false claims of election fraud and saying he won the election as he considers another run in 2024. McConnell’s support for the law could put him even more at odds with Trump, who frequently berates the GOP leader and has encouraged Republicans to vote against it.
The House has already passed a