House vote on Electoral Count Act in limbo while Dems debate policing
A House vote on election reforms has been put on hold while Democrats race to reach an agreement on separate legislation to boost policing and public safety around the country.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who on Tuesday had indicated the final vote on the Electoral Count Act would come Wednesday, tweaked that prediction Wednesday morning, saying the vote might be pushed a day to accommodate negotiations on unrelated issues, including the police funding.
“Whether it happens today or tomorrow, I’m expecting a vote to happen,” Hoyer told reporters outside the Capitol.
“We’re talking about a lot of moving parts” that Democrats are trying to wrangle to the floor in the final days of the week, he added. Police funding “is one of them.”
“We’re trying to get that done,” he said.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested the separate issues would delay the vote on election reforms beyond Wednesday.
“Today? No,” Pelosi said, when asked about the Electoral Count Act.
Sponsored by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the Electoral Count Act was drafted in direct response to the effort by former President Trump and his allies — many of them on Capitol Hill — to overturn his 2020 election defeat.
House Republicans are broadly opposed to the election reforms, saying the proposal would encroach on the rights of individual states to dictate their own election rules. GOP leaders are whipping against the Lofgren-Cheney bill for that reason, although it’s expected to pass easily, with some bipartisan support, in the Democratic-majority House whenever it does come to the floor.
Democratic leaders had initially planned to vote in July on a package of police funding, which is championed by moderate lawmakers, hoping to use that victory on the campaign trail in 2022.
GOP candidates have previously sought to label all Democrats as proponents of the far-left “defund the police” movement.
Liberals have pushed back, vowing to oppose any new police funding that doesn’t also include new accountability language designed to curb abuses committed by officers — a problem that affects minority communities disproportionately.
In response, Democrats scrapped the July vote to allow talks between the moderates and liberals to continue. As part of the process, they’ve whittled the community safety package down to four bills, dropping several proposals seen as too contentious.
When the policing package would hit the floor, if there is an agreement, remains unclear.
Asked if the community safety vote would come before that on election reform, Hoyer said that’s “not necessarily” the case.
“We’re trying to figure it out,” he said.
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