The Trump-McConnell feud takes a new turn with the Electoral Count Act

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky) support for the Electoral Count Act renews the schism between him and former President Trump and sets up a vote likely to split the GOP caucus.

Supporters hope McConnell’s backing will lead to a majority of the Senate GOP conference backing legislation drafted in response to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, which many blame on Trump.

Late. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a co-sponsor of the bill, said he believes 20 to 30 Senate Republicans could ultimately support the proposal, which is expected to be voted on during the stalled session after Election Day. He added that McConnell’s move will be a big reason why.

“Mitch’s approval of the final bill that came out of the Rules Committee was very important. If he hadn’t supported it, it would have been difficult for us to get a big vote.” Portman told The Hill. “Mitch has a lot of credibility in this area,” he added, pointing to McConnell’s longstanding opposition to federalizing elections.

At least three more Senate Republicans — John Thune (S.D.), John Cornyn (Texas) and Bill Cassidy (La.) — threw their support Wednesday behind the push to pass the bill. Cassidy said he “temperamentally supports” the legislation, which overwhelmingly passed the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday.

But there are signs that a battle is brewing among Republicans over the voter recount law.

Late. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has made his position clear on the Electoral Count Act.

Late. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the lone lawmaker who voted against the bill at the committee level on Tuesday, pressed that politics and an anti-Trump will are at the heart of the push.

There is also strong opposition to the Jan. 6-inspired election reform among Trump allies in the House, and a number of Trump-backed House and Senate candidates who have repeated his baseless allegations of voter fraud throughout their campaigns.

“Hell, everything is political up here,” Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) told The Hill in an interview when asked about Cruz’s remarks.

Cruz and Tuberville were among eight GOP senators who voted against certifying election results in either Arizona or Pennsylvania on January 6, 2021.

But outside of Cruz and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), the majority of senators who objected to the two electoral rolls are keeping their powder dry, saying they are still reviewing the latest version of the Electoral Count Act.

“I don’t mind changing anything if it needs to be changed,” Tuberville said. “But don’t do anything unless it will help. If this will help the situation, I’ll be all for it.”

In addition to Tuberville, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said he still hasn’t read the vote count law bill that came out of the rules committee, while a spokesman for Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) told The Hill he is still reviewing the legislation . Late. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) told Axios on Tuesday that he is also “reviewing” it. Hawley told Axios he didn’t see a need for the bill and would “probably” vote against it.

The legislation would significantly raise the threshold for lawmakers to challenge Electoral College votes from one senator and one House member, respectively, to one-fifth of each chamber. It would also block state officials from casting electoral votes that don’t match a state’s referendum.

“Mitch’s approval of the final bill that came out of the Rules Committee was very important. If he hadn’t supported it, it would have been difficult for us to get a big vote.”

– Late. Rob Portman told The Hill

Republicans who supported the bill downplayed the political aspect of it, maintaining that its potential passage would be in the name of good policy.

“When I go home, I’ve never had anybody ask me a question about it, so to me this is just sound policy,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (RN.C.), a co-sponsor of the proposal.

“We’re just going to have to deal with it and agree to disagree,” Tillis said of the rift between McConnell and Trump on the issue. “I was in that chamber on January 6. It never occurred to me that a person in that body could decide what we were considering, and I think that gives some clarity to that.”

Late. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who has led the GOP effort on election reform, indicated that she is hopeful one of the opponents on Jan. 6 outside of Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), who voted for promote it from the panel on Tuesday, will also jump on board.

Late. Susan Collins (R-Maine) whips up support for the Electoral Count Act.

“The committee vote speaks for itself,” she said in a 14-to-1 interview. “I believe we have the momentum.”

One argument that proponents of the bill say could help sway pro-Trump members and conservatives is that it would clarify the vice president’s role in the process as strictly ceremonial — meaning it would rule out any chance that Vice President Harris could take matters into his own hands. hands in January 2025.

“If you’re a conservative, why don’t you think about the shoe being on the other foot and isn’t it better to have an honest path where everyone plays by the same rules?” Cassidy said.

But Cruz was unfazed at Tuesday’s committee meeting.

“I understand why Democrats support this bill,” he said. “What I don’t understand is why Republicans support it.”

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