The House on Wednesday passed an electoral reform bill that would block attempts from presidents to use Congress to overrule election results, The Washington Post reports. It was the first time lawmakers have voted on "such an effort" since the Jan. 6, 2021 attack, when a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol to block the certification of President Biden's victory, the Post writes.
The Presidential Election Reform Act was co-written by Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.). The bill identifies the Capitol incident as a reason to reform the existing Electoral Count Act of 1887 and "prevent other future unlawful efforts to overturn presidential elections," as well as "ensure future peaceful transfers of presidential power."
The bill passed after a 229-203 vote. After retiring or losing their primaries, nine Republicans who will not be members of Congress next year sided with the Democrats in support of the bill, per the Post.
The Presidential Election Reform Act clarifies that the vice president does not have a role in the validation process of a presidential election; they are a figurehead who oversees the counting of votes and cannot change the results. The act increases the threshold members of both chambers have to reach to object to a state's results, and clearly delineates the role governors play in the process. It also affirms that state legislatures cannot retroactively change election rules to change voting results, the Post reports.