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Washington, DC – Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) spoke on the House floor this afternoon in support of H.R. 8873, the Presidential Election Reform Act. She is an original sponsor of this legislation that will strengthen the Electoral Count Act.

The legislation is expected to receive a vote in the House later today. Please click here for video of Rep. Cheney’s speech along with a transcript of her remarks below: 

REP. CHENEY: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I want to begin by thanking the gentlewoman from California, Chairwoman Lofgren. The chairwoman and I certainly have our disagreements on issues, but there’s no one I respect more in this body for their diligence, for their commitment, for their expertise, for their commitment to our Constitution, to our constituents, and to this country. And it has been a real pleasure working with her, as well as the staff of the House Admin Committee – and I particularly want to mention my counsel on the Select Committee, Mr. Joe Maher – for their tremendous work on this bill. 
 
This bill has benefited from a wide range of input from constitutional experts, including many conservative constitutional experts, jurists, and scholars who’ve worked with us on this bill. Their input has been invaluable, and I also want to praise those in the Senate who have been working hard on their version of Electoral Count Act reform. Our bill builds on what they have already put forth. 
 
Commentary from conservatives on our bill has been exceptionally positive. Here are a few examples: Judge Luttig, a widely respected conservative legal expert wrote that our bill was “masterfully drafted to ensure we never have another day anything like January 6th, and to avert other future efforts to overturn our nation’s democratic elections.” The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board offered a range of positive comments, including explaining that the House bill would make it harder “for partisans in Congress who want to get C-SPAN famous to lodge phony Electoral College objections,” or for them to raise objections on the House Floor because, “somebody had a funny feeling about the vote totals in West Southeastern Pennsylvania.” The conservative Cato Institute said this: “In some respects, this bill is more conservative and originalist than the existing Senate Bill.” Conservative commentator Quin Hillyer said in The Washington Examiner, “The House bill adds to the work already done by the Senate and fills in almost all gaps with admirable and sensible specificity.” There are many other examples from conservative commentators as well. I urge my Republican colleagues to read those articles and editorials in full.
 
If your aim is to prevent future efforts to steal elections, I would respectfully suggest that conservatives should support this bill. If instead your aim is to leave open the door for elections to be stolen in the future, you might decide not to support this or any other bill to address the Electoral Count Act. 
 
January 6th, contrary to what my colleague from Illinois just said, was not “democracy in action.” And our oath of office is to support and defend the Constitution, which provides the method by which we elect our president. Legal challenges are not improper, but Donald Trump’s refusal to abide by the rulings of the courts certainly was. In our system of government elections in the states determine who is the president. Our bill does not change that. But this bill will prevent Congress from illegally choosing the president itself. As we detailed in our January 6th hearings, a federal judge has reviewed evidence submitted by the January 6th Committee and concluded that former President Trump likely violated two criminal statutes when he pressured Vice President Pence to reject legitimate state electoral votes in our joint session. That’s what Vice President Pence called, “un-American.”
 
In our hearings, we have demonstrated that President Trump knew specifically – knew specifically – that what he was doing was illegal. But he did it anyway. President Trump’s conduct was illegal under the existing Electoral Count Act, and it would be illegal under this new bill as well. Our bill reaffirms what the Constitution and existing law make plain: the Vice President has no authority or discretion to reject official state electoral slates. It also makes clear that if Members of Congress have any right to object to electoral slates, those grounds are limited to the explicit constitutional requirements for candidate and electoral eligibility in the 12th Amendment’s explicit requirements for elector balloting.
 
Under our system of elections, governors must transmit lawful election results to Congress. If they fail to fulfill that duty, our bill provides that candidates for the presidency should be able to sue in federal court to ensure that Congress receives the state’s lawful certification. And finally, our bill makes clear that the rules governing an election cannot be changed retroactively. The Constitution assigns an important duty to state legislatures to determine the manner in which the states appoint their electors. But this must not be read to allow state legislators to change the rules retroactively to alter the outcome. This bill will preserve the rule of law –

 
SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: The gentlewoman’s time has expired. 
 
REP. LOFGREN: I yield the gentlelady an additional minute.
 
SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: The gentlewoman is recognized for one minute.
 
REP. CHENEY: Thank you. Our bill will preserve the rule of law for all future presidential elections by ensuring that self-interested politicians cannot steal from the people the guarantee that our government derives its power from the consent of the governed. I urge passage of this bill, Madam Speaker, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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