- Biden’s speech will be closely watched for signs of how the Western allies intend to respond to Putin’s latest gambit
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Ukraine isn’t the only country worrying about its democracy. In Washington, the House of Representatives will today begin debate on a bill to stop the sort of legal shenanigans Donald Trump’s allies attempted on January 6 to prevent Joe Biden from taking office.
The Associated Press reports that the measure is the lower chamber’s version of separate legislation under consideration in the Senate, and would overhaul the United States’ archaic election law to stop political objections from preventing the accession of a new president.
The bill, which is similar to legislation moving through the Senate, would clarify in the law that the vice president’s role presiding over the count is only ceremonial and also sets out that each state can only send one certified set of electors. Trump’s allies had unsuccessfully tried to put together alternate slates of illegitimate pro-Trump electors in swing states where Biden won.
The legislation would increase the threshold for individual lawmakers’ objections to any state’s electoral votes, requiring a third of the House and a third of the Senate to object to trigger votes on the results in both chambers. Currently, only one lawmaker in the House and one lawmaker in the Senate has to object. The House bill would set out very narrow grounds for those objections, an attempt to thwart baseless or politically motivated challenges. The legislation also would require courts to get involved if state or local officials want to delay a presidential vote or refuse to certify the results.
“He [Biden] will underscore the importance of strengthening the United Nations and reaffirm core tenets of its charter at a time when a permanent member of the security council has struck at the very heart of the charter by challenging the principle of territorial integrity and sovereignty.”