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Texas Republicans unanimously oppose electoral reform invoice – Houston Chronicle


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Home on Wednesday handed a slate of electoral reforms aimed toward stopping presidents from overturning election outcomes and making it tougher for members of Congress to object to these outcomes, as most Texas Republicans did after the election of President Joe Biden.

The laws — co-authored by U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican who’s among the many most vocal critics of former President Donald Trump — was a direct response to Trump’s makes an attempt to stop Biden from taking workplace after he received the 2020 election, an effort wherein Texas Republicans played key roles

“This invoice is an important and essential invoice to make sure that what occurred on Jan. 6 by no means occurs once more,” Cheney stated, castigating her fellow GOP members — all however 9 of whom opposed the laws — for “defending the indefensible.”

“In case your intention is to stop future efforts to steal elections, I might respectfully recommend that conservatives ought to assist this invoice,” she stated. “If as a substitute your intention is to depart open the door for elections to be stolen sooner or later, you would possibly determine to not.”

The invoice handed on a 229-203 vote. All Texas Democrats supported the invoice, and each Texas Republican opposed it.  

BACKGROUND: Liz Cheney brings her campaign against election deniers to Texas

Republicans argued they weren’t consulted within the drafting of the invoice, which they stated would federalize elections. They argued that the Electoral Rely Act, which the invoice would reform, has been in place for greater than a century and labored because it ought to on Jan. 6, when Biden’s election was licensed over the objections of GOP members. 

“The Democrats’ ongoing fixation to inject the federal authorities into elections threatens the preservation of liberty, and it’s simply one other excuse to obsess about President Trump and the January sixth Committee,” stated U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, a Friendswood Republican. “We should shield the integrity of our elections, however this invoice does nothing to perform that key goal. At a time we needs to be addressing inflation, the runaway spending that’s fueling it, and the assault on home power, to not point out the invasion alongside our southern border, Home Democrats selected to placed on yet one more partisan sideshow.” 

Republicans additionally famous that Democrats have objected to counting electoral votes in every of the previous elections received by GOP presidents since George W. Bush received the 2000 election. 

“It simply strikes me that in all the presidential elections of the twenty first century, these received by Republicans are topic to some dialogue or objection,” stated U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, a Pilot Level Republican. 

Democrats stated what occurred on Jan. 6 was completely different. Not one of the previous elections noticed nearly all of one celebration object to certifying the outcomes.

The invoice’s authors stated it will put an finish to the observe. 

U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who co-authored the laws, stated that below its parameters not a single objection raised by members of both celebration over the past 100 years could be allowed. 

“This may put an finish to utilizing frivolous challenges to the electoral rely,” she stated. 

The invoice makes clear that vice presidents can’t intervene within the certification of an election as Trump pressured former Vice President Mike Pence to do in 2020. And it will require the assist of one-third of the members of the Home and Senate to boost any congressional objections to counting electoral votes.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, led an effort within the Senate to delay certifying Biden’s election win and objected to Arizona’s electoral votes lower than an hour earlier than demonstrators breached the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, pointing to “unprecedented” — and unproven — allegations of voter fraud.

Seventeen of the 25 Texas Republicans in Congress objected to counting Electoral College votes for Biden after the Capitol riots. 

Cruz on the time was pushing for an “emergency audit,” which he has argued might have supplied the ultimate say Trump supporters wanted to simply accept the outcomes.

The laws would prohibit objections on all however a slim set of constitutional grounds. It could require governors to transmit lawful election outcomes to Congress and permit presidential candidates to sue these that don’t, opening the door for federal courts to compel them to take action. The invoice would additionally prohibit states from altering election guidelines after an election has taken place. 

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The electoral reform invoice now heads to the Senate, the place a bipartisan group of senators has been engaged on a separate slate of reforms to the Electoral Rely Act. The 2 variations differ barely, together with within the threshold required to boost an objection. The Senate model would require simply one-fifth of members of each chambers to take action. 

Its passage within the Home marks a victory for Cheney, who misplaced a major final month to Trump-backed legal professional Harriet Hageman, after co-chairing the Home committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

Cheney was as soon as one of many high Republicans within the Home, however GOP members final 12 months eliminated her from her put up main the convention in a present of loyalty to Trump after she repeatedly known as out the previous president’s lies a couple of stolen election.

The Wyoming Republican has since launched a political motion committee along with her marketing campaign funds and stated she plans to make use of the PAC to go after “election deniers,” including Cruz. Cheney is slated to talk on the Texas Tribune Pageant in Austin this weekend. 

Cruz, in the meantime, stated on his podcast that Trump “shattered” Cheney’s thoughts and that she has “simply turn into a liberal Democrat” due to her outstanding function on the Home committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

“Liz is unrecognizable,” Cruz stated. “Cheney’s circus act on the Jan. 6 fee is indistinguishable from what Nancy Pelosi would say.”

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