Nine Republicans joined Democrats on Wednesday in voting for election reform legislation sponsored by two members of the Jan. 6, 2021, House select committee.
The bill, titled the Presidential Election Reform Act, passed in a 229-203 vote.
Republican Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Fred Upton (Mich.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.), Peter Meijer (Mich.), Tom Rice (S.C.), John Katko (N.Y.), Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio) and Chris Jacobs (N.Y.) supported the measure.
Cheney sponsored the bill with Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and Kinzinger is also a member of the select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6.
The legislation reforms the 1887 Electoral Count Act, reaffirming that the vice president’s role in the certification of Electoral College votes is ministerial and increasing the threshold to object to a state’s electors from one House member and one senator to one-third of both chambers.
Additionally, the measure outlines constitutional grounds on which lawmakers can object to electoral votes, and gives governors the responsibility of transmitting electoral appointments to Congress. It targets fake election certificates former President Trump’s team created in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, in addition to the pressure his allies put on states to replace their electors with ones that would support Trump.
All nine Republicans who supported the election reform bill are not returning to Congress next year, either because they opted against running for reelection or were defeated in primary battles by Trump-backed candidates.
Kinzinger, Upton, Katko, Gonzalez and Jacobs have all announced their retirement from the lower chamber, while Cheney, Herrera Beutler, Meijer and Rice lost their reelection primaries.
Additionally, eight of the nine Republicans who supported the Cheney-Lofgren bill — all but Jacobs — voted to impeach former President Trump days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
The other two Republicans who voted to impeach Trump — Rep. David Valadao (Calif.) and Dan Newhouse (Wash.) — are on the ballot in November. Valadao did not face a Trump-backed primary challenger this cycle, while Newhouse edged out an opponent who had the support of the former president.
Cheney made the case for the election reform bill in remarks on the House floor on Wednesday, calling it “excellent” and arguing that it will protect future elections and prevent an event like the Jan. 6 Capitol riot from happening again.
“This bill is a bill that will help to protect the rule of law. This bill is a bill that will help to ensure that future elections cannot be stolen. This bill will ensure that in the future, the United States Congress is very clear that we have a very limited number of objections that can be made, if any can be made at all. And those are strictly limited to those outlined in the Constitution,” Cheney said.
“This bill is a very important and crucial bill to ensure that what happened on January 6th never happens again,” she added.
A bipartisan group of senators in July introduced their own bill that reforms the Electoral Count Act, which is scheduled to be reviewed next week. A companion bill has been introduced in the House.
The Senate bill and the Cheney-Lofgren legislation are largely similar, but do have some key differences. The Senate bill, for example, only requires one-fifth support from each chamber to object to a state’s electors, while the Cheney-Lofgren bill requires one-third of each chamber.
Meijer said on Twitter Wednesday, “I look forward to the ultimate bipartisan/bicameral ECA reform bill.”