Grassley expects Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act to make progress

Sen. Chuck Grassley said he thinks the act will be passed because of general consensus for a need to update the electoral certification process of presidential elections.


Gabby Drees

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks in a Daily Iowan interview at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, April 5, 2022.

Emily Delgado, Politics Reporter

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he thinks the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act of 2022 will be passed because there is a consensus that a prior version of the act does not work anymore in today’s government. 

The 2022 act would revise the process of casting electoral votes for presidential elections. The act, which was introduced a month after Jan. 6 hearings began, is a response to the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack. 

The act is receiving support on both sides of the aisle with 11 Democrats co-sponsoring the bill and 10 Republican co-sponsors, one of which is Grassley. The act was introduced on the Senate floor by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, is not one of the Republicans who co-sponsored the bill. 

“There’s a general consensus that the1886 law is not up to date,” Grassley said on Wednesday at his weekly press call. “It makes it very clear the role of the vice president in counting ballots in the joint session of Congress.”

The proposed bill states the role of the vice president, who is the presiding officer of the joint session of Congress, is simply a ministerial role, meaning the vice president can not overturn election results. It also raises the requirement to need ⅕ of both the House and the Senate in the case of an objection to electoral votes. Currently an objection must be signed by at least one member of the Senate and one member of the House. 

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, voiced his support for the act, signaling the possibility of the act being passed through the Senate. 

Grassley said McConnell’s support will not be the reason the bill gets passed.

“Congress’s process for counting the presidential electors’ votes was written 135 years ago. The chaos that came to a head on January 6th of last year certainly underscored the need for an update. So did Januaries 2001, 2005, and 2017; in each of which, Democrats tried to challenge the lawful election of a Republican president,” McConnell wrote in a press release on Tuesday.