U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s office won’t say whether he would support a bipartisan measure aimed at clarifying how electoral votes are tallied to prevent future attempts to overturn a presidential election.
The newly released proposal seeks to clear up vague wording in the Electoral Count Act, a law former President Donald Trump sought to exploit to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Asked whether the Oshkosh Republican planned to support the proposed bill, Johnson spokesperson Alexa Henning said only, “The senator has previously expressed openness to looking at proposals for reform of the (Electoral Count Act), and he will do so.”
The legislation would clarify that a vice president has no authority to reject a state’s electoral results, something Trump unsuccessfully tried to get then-Vice President Mike Pence to do on Jan. 6, 2021. The measure would also increase the minimum number of members of Congress needed to lodge a formal objection to certifying a state’s electors. That threshold would go from one member from both the House and the Senate to one-third of members from each chamber.
People are also reading…
In the run-up to certifying the 2020 presidential election on Jan. 6, 2021, Johnson indicated he would object to the certification of electors in key swing states won by President Joe Biden. But he changed course after the assault on the Capitol and voted to certify them.
The legislators proposing the measure — Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. — are members of the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack.
The proposal is “intended to 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,” Cheney and Lofgren wrote in a Wall Street Journal column Sunday.
Wisconsin Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Black Earth, and Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, plan to support the bill, their spokespeople said Tuesday. Spokespeople for U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, and Reps. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville; Ron Kind, D-La Crosse; Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau; Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah; Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay; and Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua, did not immediately say whether the lawmakers will support the measure.
Tiffany and Fitzgerald objected to certifying Biden’s wins in Arizona and Pennsylvania.
The bill would also clarify that there’s only one legal slate of electors from each state. That provision comes after Trump officials sought to send competing slates of electors to Congress from several states including Wisconsin in an effort to delay or prevent the certification of Biden’s win.
The Jan. 6 committee revealed text messages showing an aide to Johnson tried to hand a member of Pence’s staff official-looking documents falsely affirming Trump won Wisconsin and Michigan as Pence prepared to affirm Biden’s electoral victory on Jan. 6, 2021.
That text conversation came just after a lawyer representing Trump asked the Oshkosh Republican to deliver the fake slate of electors to Pence, according to text messages released by the conservative outlet Just the News. Johnson later called that lawyer, former Dane County Circuit Court Judge James Troupis, a victim of the “radical left.”
Wisconsin’s fake electors, Troupis and another attorney are defendants in an ongoing lawsuit alleging they broke several criminal and civil laws in their effort to subvert the election.
“This bill will clarify that you can’t have fake electors,” Pocan said in a statement. “Senator Ron Johnson’s attempt to provide fake electors after the 2020 election would now be even more illegal.”
The House could vote on the legislation as soon as this week. It’s unlikely that the Senate will vote on the measure this month.
Top 10 Wisconsin political stories of 2021 (based on what you, the readers, read)
2021 was another big year in Wisconsin politics. Sen. Ron Johnson said some things. Voters elected a new state superintendent. Gov. Tony Evers and Republicans clashed over mask mandates. Michael Gableman threatened to jail the mayors of Madison and Green Bay. Here are 10 political stories you, the readers, checked out in droves.
Since the start of the outbreak, Gov. Tony Evers has issued multiple public health emergencies and a series of related orders.
Sen. Ron slammed the impeachment over the weekend as “vindictive and divisive,” and possibly a “diversionary operation” by Democrats to distract from security lapses at the U.S. Capitol.
"I wouldn’t run if I don’t think I could win," said Johnson, who is undecided on a re-election bid.
The board had previously not required masks in schools after some in the public voiced opposition.
With a new order announced, Republicans may be forced to start the process all over again to vote down the governor's emergency order and accompanying mask mandate, but the most likely outcome appears to be an eventual court decision.
Fort McCoy officials acknowledge there were initial problems with food supply, but that and other issues are being addressed.
The idea is in its infancy and all options, including declining to pursue anything, are on the table.
Gableman has asked the court, which plans to take up the matter on Dec. 22, to compel the two mayors to meet with him.
Deborah Kerr said she has also voted for Republicans and tells GOP audiences on the campaign trail for the officially nonpartisan race that she is a "pragmatic Democrat."
Limbaugh died Wednesday at 70.