Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said something very surprising last week, suggesting that he was willing to discuss reforming the Electoral Count Act, the federal law that governs the way Congress certifies presidential elections:
“Aside from all the other things they are discussing, this is something that’s worth discussing,” McConnell said on Wednesday. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, echoed that view to NBC News. There may even be enough support across the aisle to overcome a filibuster in the closely divided Senate.
But as Hayes Brown notes in an op-ed he wrote for MSNBC, Democrats would be foolish to fall for McConnell’s bait and switch:
While changes to the law’s vague, easily twisted language are important to prevent another round of the chaos that former President Donald Trump inspired last year, McConnell knows better than anyone that reforming the Electoral Count Act absent “all the other things” Democrats want in terms of voting rights would be a new coat of paint on a house that’s about to collapse.
While McConnell wants us to believe he’s interested in election reform, the truth is very different from the words he speaks in front of the cameras:
In June, he even said that voting rights is “not a federal issue.” Case in point: The Democrats’ other main voting rights bill, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, would reinstate the provisions the Supreme Court has decimated. The bill has the support of only one Republican in the Senate — and it isn’t McConnell.
The good news is that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has made it clear he’s not going to fall for McConnell’s trick:
He’s promised to “debate and consider changes to the rules” by Jan. 17 if Republicans continue to stand in the way of the two voting rights bills.
But McConnell isn’t likely to budge anytime soon. And he knows that all he needs is one — one Democrat to remain willing to put his promise of “bipartisanship” ahead of voting rights. It’s up to Schumer to make sure that nobody breaks ranks in the name of a short-term victory
McConnell doesn’t want people to vote unless they happen to be guaranteed votes for Republicans. That means he wants every white person (especially conservatives) to get out and vote in every election while at the same time he and other members of the GOP work behind the scenes to make it more difficult for people of color and the poor to cast a ballot. They know that expanding the voting franchise and making it easier to vote would relegate their party to permanent minority status.
Nice try, Mitch, but we’re not falling for your lies.