House Democrats' obsession with former President Trump was on full display today during a hearing of the House Rules Committee on their proposal to reform the Electoral Count Act (ECA), released just 24 hours earlier. There is bipartisan agreement that the ECA needs reform. The Electoral Count Act is a federal law adding to procedures set out in the Constitution of the United States for the counting of electoral votes following a presidential election. (There is some debate whether the ECA is even necessary or constitutional but all agree the 1887 Act has problems.)
As mentioned yesterday, House Democrats have used ECA reform first and foremost as a political stunt.
.@HouseAdmnGOP Ranking Member @RodneyDavis before the House Rules Committee on #ECA Reform Act:— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) September 20, 2022
"This bill is about Democrats' obsession with Donald Trump, not about actually passing good legislation."
A great example is the contrast between the truly bipartisan ECA Senate reform proposal and the House Democrat proposal is how the Democrat proposal starts with citations to the riot on January 6 and the COVID-19 pandemic. The bipartisan Senate proposal focuses on reforming the law and not on trying to score political points. As Rep. Davis points out:
.@RodneyDavis "we should not turn making necessary updates to the ECA into a partisan stunt. The Senate's bipartisan proposal was also introduced in the House. What isn't that our starting point?" #ElectoralCountAct— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) September 20, 2022
The two proposals have serious differences as well. One such example is the House Democrat proposal provides for a private right of action to give lawyers and courts an even larger role post-election. The bipartisan Senate proposal does not create any such right. This may explain why “dark money” Marc Elias is so vehemently opposed to the Senate proposal.
A moment that summed up the hearing today was Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin asking for a “closed rule” to limit amendments and debate on the House floor for the Democrats' proposal. Maybe the reason why Democrats like Raskin want to talk only about Trump in 2020 is Raskin’s role in trying to delegitimize Trump’s victory in 2016 by using the ECA in January of 2017.
Regardless of what one thinks of the ECA, it should not be a vehicle for political stunts like those done by Raskin in 2017 and now again in 2022.