By Charles Kim
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In an effort to prevent another Jan. 6, 2021, event, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif, introduced legislation on Monday that would take any authority over counting the Electoral College vote away from the vice president.
“First, we must reaffirm what the Constitution and existing law already make plain: The vice president (who acts as presiding officer for a joint session of Congress in a presidential election) has no authority or discretion to reject official state electoral slates, to delay the count in any material way, or to issue procedural rulings that have such an effect,” the two representatives said in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece Sunday.
The 12th Amendment is straightforward; it simply requires counting: ‘The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; the person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed.’”
Cheney, who serves as a vice chairman of the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 protest and riot at the U.S. Capitol, lost her GOP primary reelection bid to Harriet Hageman, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, by more than 30 points in August, NBC News reported at the time.
Despite losing the election, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney doubled down on her opposition to Trump seeking the White House again in 2024.
“We must be very clear-eyed about the threat we face,” she said in the post-election report, repeating a previous pledge to “do whatever it takes to ensure that Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office.”
Known as the “Presidential Election Reform Act,” the bill would not allow a sitting vice president to question the results of the balloting, or fail to certify the results, according to the proposed legislation.
The bill would also narrow the grounds that other Congress members could legally object to a slate of presidential electors.