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US: Senate committee seeks legislative way to avoid repeat of events in Capitol

US: Senate committee seeks legislative way to avoid repeat of events in Capitol

A Senate committee on Wednesday accepted proposals to reform federal election law aimed at preventing a repeat of the violent events of January 6, 2021, when supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overturn his election loss to Joe Biden.

The relevant Senate Rules Committee is considering two legislative proposals to draft a bill to reform the 1887 Electoral Count Act that the former president and his political allies tried to invoke to reverse Trump’s 2020 election loss .

“It’s our job to make sure this never happens again, regardless of who’s responsible,” Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who chairs the committee, said during a hearing.

Trump supporters stormed Capitol Hill in a failed attempt to pressure (then-Vice President) Mike Pence to prevent Congress from ratifying the election result.

A bipartisan group of senators led by Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Sen. Susan Collins proposed legislation last month that would clarify that the US vice president has only a formal role in the process of certifying the results of the presidential election.

Similar legislative proposals have been introduced by Klobuchar, Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin, and independent Sen. Angus King. Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives are also pushing for related legislation.

Calling the existing election law “outdated and ambiguous,” Collins said members of Congress from both parties have “abused” the law’s weaknesses by filing frivolous challenges in four of the last six election contests.

“The violent storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6 (2021) had to happen to emphasize the urgency of reform,” said Collins, one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump of sedition.

“Nothing is more important to the survival of a democracy than the smooth transfer of power. And there is nothing more important to the smooth transfer of power than the application of clear rules,” she added.


Source: Capital