WASHINGTON, DC— Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, praised the inclusion of his bipartisan legislation to reform and modernize the outdated Electoral Count Act of 1887 and the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 in the final FY 2023 funding measure currently under consideration. The bipartisan legislation has 39 Senate cosponsors, including Senate Leaders Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
“I’m pleased to announce that the final FY 2023 government funding bill currently under consideration includes my Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act,” said Portman. “The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act makes necessary, commonsense reforms to the outdated Electoral Count Reform of 1887—the law that governs how electoral votes are counted in Congress. The bill also makes noncontroversial reforms to the Presidential Transition Act—which governs how newly-elected Presidents transition into office. These changes are extremely important to prevent bad-faith actors from exploiting ambiguity in the law for political motives. In a time of increasingly bitter partisanship and polarization, this bill is a perfect example of what Congress can accomplish when we put our political differences aside and negotiate in good faith towards a common goal.”
The final FY 2023 funding measure includes the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act which makes important changes such as:
- Clarifying that the role of the vice president is purely ministerial.
- Raising the threshold to object to a State’s slate of electors from 1 member from each chamber to 1/5th of each chamber.
- Ensuring that Election Day can only be moved for extraordinary and catastrophic events and only according to laws enacted prior to Election Day.
- Creating a narrow, expedited judicial review of election challenges brought by presidential candidates under existing law.
The legislation also includes the Presidential Transition Improvement Act—which governs how newly-elected Presidents transition into office.
- Under the current law, the Administrator of the General Services Administration is required to “ascertain” the “President-elect” to provide transition resources to the winning candidate.
- This bill provides clear guideposts and transparency measures that remove unnecessary political pressure on the Administrator.
- The bill also authorizes both candidates to receive transition resources in the event of a truly contested election, this will ensure whoever is inaugurated in January will be prepared for the job on day one.