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Collins, Manchin Statement Following 14-1 Rules Committee Vote Advancing Senate ECA Reform

Effort currently has 22 cosponsors and the support of Senate Leaders McConnell and Schumer

Washington, D.C.—In a strong, bipartisan vote of 14-1, the Senate Rules Committee today favorably reported the Senate’s legislation to reform and modernize the outdated Electoral Count Act of 1887.  The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act was co-authored by a bipartisan group led by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).  Earlier today, Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced his support for the legislation in a speech on the Senate Floor.


“Today, under the leadership of Chairman Klobuchar and Ranking Member Blunt, the Senate Rules Committee took a significant step forward in advancing the Senate’s sensible and much-needed reforms to the Electoral Count Act of 1887,” said Senators Collins and Manchin. “We would like to thank Senators Klobuchar and Blunt for their constructive feedback following last month’s hearing and for working with us to make modest changes to refine our bill.  By moving our legislation through regular order, we were able to produce a strong package that has received broad, bipartisan support.”


“Our bipartisan bill is backed by election law experts and organizations across the ideological spectrum and a broad cross section of Senators from both parties,” Senators Collins and Manchin continued.  “We will keep working to increase support for our legislation that would correct the flaws in this archaic and ambiguous law.”


The members of the Rules Committee who voted to advance the bill today include: Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member Roy Blunt (R-MO), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Mark Warner (D-VA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Angus King (I-ME), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS), Alex Padilla (D-CA), and Jon Ossoff (D-GA).  Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) were not present but asked it to be noted in the record that they support the bill.


In addition to Senators Collins and Manchin, the 22 Senators (11 Republicans and 11 Democrats) co-sponsoring the bill include: Rob Portman (R-OH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Warner (D-VA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Todd Young (R-IN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH). 


Three of the bill’s supporters, Senators Manchin, Blunt, and Padilla, are former Secretaries of State.


On August 3rd, at the invitation Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO)—the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Rules Committee—Senators Collins and Manchin provided remarks before the Committee in support of their legislation.  On September 14, Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Fred Upton (MI-6) introduced the House companion to the Senate legislation.  Senators Collins and Manchin first introduced the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act on July 20th.


The bill includes the following provisions:


1)   Electoral Count Reform Act. This section would reform and modernize the outdated Electoral Count Act of 1887 to ensure that electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for President. It would replace ambiguous provisions of the 19th-century law with clear procedures that maintain appropriate state and federal roles in selecting the President and Vice President of the United States as set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Click HERE for a one-pager on the Electoral Count Act reform section.


2)   Presidential Transition Improvement Act. This section would help to promote the orderly transfer of power by providing clear guidelines for when eligible candidates for President or Vice President may receive federal resources to support their transition into office. Click HERE for a one-pager on the presidential transition section.


Click HERE for the text of the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act.