Sep 28, 2022

McConnell Announces Support For Electoral Count Act Reform Transcript

McConnell Announces Support For Electoral Count Act Reform Transcript
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Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced on the Senate floor that he would support legislation being proposed to reform the Electoral Count Act to prevent efforts to subvert future elections. Read the transcript here.

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Hallie: (00:00)
Just into us. Back here in Washington, in just the last couple of minutes, the top Republican in the Senate, minority leader Mitch McConnell making an announcement about how he views the critical, potentially, Electoral Count Act, which is a bill meant to prevent something like January 6th from happening again. Watch what he said.

Mitch McConnell: (00:20)
Strongly support the modest changes that our colleagues in the working group have fleshed out after literally months of detailed discussions. I’ll proudly support the legislation, provided that nothing more than technical changes are made to its current form.

Hallie: (00:38)
McConnell there saying he will proudly support it. Let me bring back in now NBC News senior political reporter Sahil Kapur. Sahil, we already had a lot of Republicans, I think more than 10, who had come out and said that they would support this, but McConnell’s weight behind this is sort of an interesting piece of the puzzle here.

Sahil Kapur: (00:56)
That’s right, Hallie. We’ve got news breaking left and right here on Capitol Hill at this hour. We have Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, just came out in favor of a major piece of legislation to tighten election laws to try to prevent candidates from stealing elections in the future. That is the Presidential Election Reform Act, which was spearheaded by a bipartisan group of senators who have been working pretty much all year on it.

Sahil Kapur: (01:19)
Yes, as you point out, there are currently 10 Republican co-sponsors to this bill. Mitch McConnell is number 11. His top deputy, John Thune, the Republican senator from South Dakota, told me just a few days ago he’s also favorably inclined to support this bill.

Sahil Kapur: (01:35)
So we could be looking at a big bipartisan vote in the Senate to pass this bill, which is headed for a markup in the Senate Rules Committee just later this afternoon. It is expected to get a vote on the floor of the Senate later this year, most likely in the lame duck session, although that hasn’t been set yet.

Sahil Kapur: (01:52)
But McConnell’s support is really key, Hallie. He had encouraged these negotiations every step of the way as long as they were narrow about election law and about counting votes, not about voting rights, which he wants nothing to do with at the federal level. They did tailor this legislation narrowly to try to win Republicans over. It looks like they’re well on track to get this done.

Sahil Kapur: (02:10)
McConnell has been crucial, as we’ve seen over the last year and a half, at making sure legislation gets to 60 votes. When he’s there, usually enough members of the Republican caucus find their way there. If he’s against something, then bills really struggle to find enough support to move forward. So this is a very positive sign for proponents of this election reform effort.

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