House Democrats on Wednesday took aim at the overwhelming majority of their Republican colleagues in the lower chamber who voted against proposed legislation that aims to prevent another attempt to use Congress to subvert presidential elections.
The Presidential Election Reform Act, written by Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., seeks to prevent presidents from manipulating the Electoral Count Act like former President Donald Trump attempted to do as part of his effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and prevent the peaceful transfer of power to President Joe Biden.
The measure passed by a vote of 229-203, with every House Democrat present voting in favor. Only nine House Republicans joined them. All nine are leaving Congress after this term, either because they lost primary challenges or are retiring.
In addition to Cheney, they are Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), Jamie Herrera Beutler (Wash.), Chris Jacobs (N.Y.), John Katko (N.Y.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Peter Meijer (Mich.), Tom Rice (S.C.), and Fred Upton (Mich.).
“To all those who oppose this legislation, I ask you, how could anyone vote against free and fair elections—the cornerstone of our constitution?” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,—who leads a party that has repeatedly fought to keep more progressive challengers off ballots and out of debates across the country—said Wednesday on the House floor.
“How could anyone vote against our founders’ vision: placing power in the hands of the people?” she added. “How could anyone vote against their own constituents, allowing radical politicians to rip away their say in our democracy?”
In a swipe at Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Rep. Marc Pocan, D-Wis., tweeted that the newly passed bill “eliminates loopholes insurrectionists tried to exploit on January 6th—even for those who only spent ‘a couple seconds’ trying to overthrow democracy.”
Speaking of his 203 GOP colleagues who voted against the bill, Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., chair of the House Rules Committee, told Politico that “the idea that they’re siding with insurrectionists, they’re siding with people who are trying to undermine our democracy is really disgusting.”
Politico reports that some House Republicans could be open to supporting a Senate version of the legislation introduced in July by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., which might include provisions of the lower chamber’s bill.
Manchin’s office said Wednesday that his bill has 10 Republican co-sponsors—enough GOP votes for filibuster-free passage.