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White House, top Dems apparently influenced by WaPo’s Jennifer Rubin to push Electoral Count Act reform

Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post columnist and one of President Biden‘s biggest cheerleaders in the media, is reportedly influencing Democrats to advance election certification reform. 

Politico Playbook reported that the proposed changes to the Electoral Count Act (ECA) are gaining steam on Capitol Hill.

The ECA reform is set to bar a sitting vice president from single-handedly overturning electoral results that had already been certified on a state level, raise the number of lawmakers needed to protest state results and offer protection for election workers. According to Playbook, the group of senators drafting the legislation is also considering a “legal process” that would grant federal judges the ability to “quickly litigate any discrepancies about who won the state.”

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“Talks heated up after top Democrats from Biden to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have sent positive signals on ECA reform, after weeks downplaying the talks,” Politico reported. “Group members have taken note and were particularly encouraged to see Jennifer Rubin — the WaPo opinion columnist known to be close with the Biden White House- appear to suggest ECA reform is worth pursuing after dismissing it just a few weeks ago.”

Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin was savagely roasted on Tuesday for her latest take on the coronavirus pandemic. (NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
(William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Initially, Rubin was sour on the ECA, writing in a column on Jan. 5 that it’s “no substitute for voting reform” as the Democrats’ effort to federalize elections failed to gain traction. 

“Democrats need to do a much better job explaining why ECA amendments are needed, but also utterly insufficient to address the GOP’s assault on access to voting and the fair, nonpartisan administration of elections,” Rubin wrote at the time. “Democrats must be emphatic with [West Virginia Sen. Joe] Manchin that reforming the ECA is no substitute for addressing the myriad threats to elections, as the Freedom to Vote Act would do.”

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However, columnist drastically changed her tune in a Jan. 25 piece, saying that while significant voting reform efforts are “dead” thanks to opposition from Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., to dismantle the filibuster, “something” can still be done. 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Vice President Mike Pence arrive to officiate as a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to count the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Vice President Mike Pence arrive to officiate as a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to count the Electoral College votes cast in November’s election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP)

“With comprehensive voting rights reform on hold until Democrats can expand their majority in the Senate and modify the filibuster, the question becomes how broad an ECA reform bill could be crafted to draw 60 votes,” Rubin wrote last week. “Voting rights attorneys and advocates say that even something narrowly tailored to just the Electoral Count Act would be a critical… Moreover, the discussion about the ECA could get both sides talking to each other on bipartisan proposals.”  

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“As the bipartisan group proceeds, there is a chance to include less controversial provisions… Democrats should push as far as they can to prevent partisan manipulation of voting results. In the end, Democrats will face a disagreeable reality: They simply do not have the votes to do what they think is necessary to protect democracy. The goal then should be to make real, meaningful progress now that does not set back voting reform efforts in the future,” she added. 

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