Democrats have expressed doubts about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s offer to discuss making changes to election law as the two parties face off over the legislative filibuster.
The Hill reports that members of the GOP leadership have said they are interested in changing an 1887 Electoral College law that details how the results are formally counted by Congress, but Democrats question the timing of the offer. It comes as the party is currently in the midst of negotiations with Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona on a deal for voting rights reform that would include changes to the filibuster.
“I think this is a fake,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told MSNBC, referring to McConnell’s comments.
“I think it’s a way to try and get the two senators that we have who are not on board to go for something that won’t change the horrible, voracious change in the balance of power that will allow elections to slam things in the directions of Republicans in a dramatic way, in an unfair way, in an un — small ‘D’ — democratic way.”
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., one of the leading senators in negotiations over voting rights reform, said that the proposal to reform the Electoral Count Act is a “distraction,” according to the Hill.
“We need to pass voting rights, and we need a comprehensive response to this huge and concerted effort across the country to make it difficult for people to vote. What good is the certification if I don’t get to cast my vote in the first place?” Warnock said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that reforming the 1887 law “is not a substitute for the protections that are included in the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. That is why our focus is on those.”