Schumer: Omnibus expected to include Electoral Count Act, Ukraine funding

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that he expects a year-end omnibus spending package to include the Electoral Count Act, which clarifies the vice president’s role in certifying a presidential election as ministerial, and more funding for Ukraine.

Congressional negotiators have been deadlocked for weeks over the top-line defense and non-defense discretionary spending numbers, but Schumer on Tuesday said he is optimistic a deal will be reached soon.  

“I expect an omnibus will contain priorities both sides want to see passed into law, including more funding for Ukraine and the Electoral Count Act, which my colleagues in the Rules Committee have done great work on. It will be great to get that done,” Schumer said.  

The Electoral Count Act would clarify that the constitutional role of the vice president is solely ministerial when Congress convenes in a joint session every four years to certify the results of a presidential election.  

The language is intended to resolve any ambiguity about whether the vice president has the power to overturn the vote of the Electoral College, something that former President Trump claimed was possible after losing the 2020 presidential election.  

The legislation also provides for expedited judicial review of legal challenges to a state’s slate of electors, allowing such claims to go to a three-judge panel with a direct appeal to the Supreme Court.  

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) stood up on the floor after Schumer spoke on Tuesday to endorse more funding for Ukraine.  

“Every day Russia spends on the back foot and Ukraine degrades the ability to wage further wars and diminishes the calculus for others who might contemplate similar violence,” McConnell said. “Continuing support for Ukraine is the popular mainstream view that stretches across the ideological spectrum.” 

He noted that former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said that supporting Ukraine fully and completely is in the best interest of the United States.  

Senate negotiators haven’t confirmed what amount of funding for Ukraine will be included in the omnibus. The Biden administration last month requested an additional $37.7 billion to continue military and economic support to Ukraine in its war against Russia.  

Tags Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Electoral Count Act John Ratcliffe Omnibus spending bill

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