A bill aimed at electoral reform made it out of committee in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday with the help of U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa).
In what could be considered a response to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act would make it more difficult for members of Congress to object to Electoral College votes by raising the required threshold to include at least one-fifth of representatives from both the House and Senate.
The bill also defines the vice president's role in approving electoral votes as "ministerial in nature."
Shelby joined the majority of the bipartisan Senate Rules Committee in supporting the proposal, which will now go to the Senate floor for a full vote. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was the lone dissenter on the committee.
When asked how he would vote, U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) said he is cautious about the bill and wanted to wait and see what is actually in it before deciding.
"The first thing we need to do as we look into this reform bill is make sure we actually need reform," Tuberville said during a media phone call. "I think there's some people for it or against it. We've not gotten the text yet. There's going to be several things in there that may be meaningful.
"I will say this: if we can make it better, I'm all for it, but I'm not just for just doing new rules and sending this to committees and having it talked about if it's not going to make it better. My staff and I – we're looking and waiting for the text to come out of the bill. We'll look at it, and we'll review it. I want to make sure that we have fair elections. I want to make sure everything is above board. If this can help us, I'm all for it. Again, I'm going to need to review this latest version, and we look forward to doing that."
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email [email protected].
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.