Republicans could soon be brought on the ground about endorsing efforts to reform the Electoral Count Act

CHICAGO — A resolution due before the Republican National Committee this week would support a two-pronged effort at the congress to prevent future attempts to undermine the will of the voters.

It also poses a dilemma for a party that has former president Donald Trump still mostly commands.

Sponsored by Bill Palatucci, a New Jersey commissioner who believes Trump has “disqualified” himself from running for president, the resolution calls for the renewal of the Electoral Count Act, the 19th-century law whose ambiguities sparked the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol that disrupted the transfer of power.

The measure does not mention Trump by name or refer to his efforts to dissuade then-Vice President Mike Pence from certifying Joe Biden’s victory. Nor is it commented on the Jan. 6 House committee hearings outlining an interlocking attempt by the Trump forces to retain power.

Instead, the resolution urges Congress to reform or replace the Electoral Count Act “to prevent a repeat of the January 6, 2021 tragedy,” and to “remove key U.S. institutions in the minds of the most Americans and our allies around the world”.

While the resolution is written in a way that doesn’t explicitly impeach Trump, RNC members can still object to the language that points to a “campaign of misinformation” that Congress could “undo the election.”

A major theme of the Jan. 6 commission hearings was that Trump and his outside advisers misled his supporters into believing that widespread fraud was robbing him of victory. Recounts and lawsuits have yielded no evidence of fraud on a scale that would have negated Biden’s victory. But Trump still has enough loyalty within the RNC — chaired by Ronna McDaniel, whom he chose for the job in 2016 — that it may be a reluctance to validate any of the House panel’s core arguments.

The RNC is holding its summer meeting in Chicago this week. Palatucci said he plans to present the resolution to a panel on Thursday. He previewed the argument he plans to make during the closed-door session.

“I don’t care what you think of Donald Trump. I don’t care what you think of Liz Cheney,” he said, referring to the Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Jan. 6. “The peaceful transfer of power is so important to American democracy that we need to clear up the confusion that has arisen. You can blame whoever you want, but to me that has nothing to do with Congress’ urging to find a solution to what was clearly a problem last year.”

The Senate Rules Committee held a hearing on Wednesday on the Electoral Act and changes to electoral law. A bipartisan group of senators recently introduced accounts to revise the law of 1887 and make it clear that the vice president cannot turn down voters. The measures would also raise the threshold to object to voters from a state from one member of the House and Senate to one-fifth of each chamber.

The goal is to close loopholes in the electoral law and prevent future attempts to undo an election. The negotiations, led by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joe Manchin, DW.Va., were supported by Senate leaders from both parties. It is not clear when the Senate will vote on the bills.

Collins told the Rules Committee that the “electoral counting process has been abused” and that “the violent violation of the Capitol on Jan. 6 was really necessary to really show how urgent the need for reform was.”

She said the Senate group that drafted the proposals — which includes Republicans like Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Mitt Romney of Utah and Ben Sasse of Nebraska — is united in our determination to prevent the flaws in this 1887 law from being used to undermine the future. presidential elections.”

“Nothing is more essential to the survival of a democracy than the orderly transfer of power,” she said. “And there is nothing more essential to an orderly transfer of power than clear rules for influencing it.”

Democratic House leaders have also expressed interest in revising the Electoral Count Act, but they say they want to wait for the Jan. 6 committee’s legislative recommendations — expected later this year — before passing any legislation.

Palatucci’s resolution follows the work of the bipartisan group of senators. He also wants to clarify the role of vice presidents so that there is no confusion about their limited powers when Congress counts the electoral votes every four years.

“We must do everything we can to avoid the repeat of January 6, 2021,” said Palatucci. “And a big part of that is clearing up the confusion that a lot of people had about the roles of Congress and the voters and the vice president.”

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