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Mitch McConnell is 'proudly' supporting a bill that aims to prevent another Trump-style coup, saying January 6 'underscored the need for an update'

Business Insider logo Business Insider 9/27/2022 bmetzger@insider.com (Bryan Metzger)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell outside the Senate on September 20, 2022. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images © Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell outside the Senate on September 20, 2022. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
  • McConnell endorsed a bill to reform the Electoral Count Act, aiming to prevent another Trump-style coup.
  • "The chaos that came to a head on January 6... underscored the need for an update," he said.
  • The bill's aim is to make it harder to overturn presidential election results.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell endorsed on Tuesday a bipartisan bill to reform the Electoral Count Act and prevent another attempt to overturn the 2020 election results as former President Donald Trump sought to do on January 6.

His endorsement, along with the backing of 11 senators from each party, puts the legislation on track to pass the Senate, though likely not until after the November midterm elections.

"I strongly support the modest changes that our colleagues in the working group have fleshed out after literally months of detailed discussions," said McConnell in floor remarks on Tuesday afternoon. "I'll proudly support the legislation, providing that nothing more than technical changes are made to its current form."

 

"The chaos that came to a head on January 6 of last year certainly underscored the need for an update," he added.

The bill's primary changes include update the 19th-century law to make it harder to challenge state-certified election results and clarify ambiguities in the law that Trump sought to exploit as he clung to power.

Most significantly, the bill raises the threshold for hearing objections to states' election results up to one-fifth of each chamber; currently, objections require just one person in each chamber.

The bill also clarifies that the Vice President's role is merely ceremonial and does not include the power to unilaterally toss out states' electors, as Trump claimed of then-Vice President Mike Pence in the lead-up to January 6.

Last week, the House of Representatives voted on a separate bill put forward by Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of California that had similar goals.

House Republican leadership told members to vote against it, and ultimately just nine Republicans — all of which are leaving Congress in January — voted for the bill.

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