Schumer: McConnell floating Electoral Count Act reforms ‘unacceptably insufficient,’ ‘offensive’

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday rejected talk of reforming the Electoral Count Act, after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) floated making changes to the 1887 law.

Schumer, speaking from the Senate, said making changes to the law, which details how Congress counts the Electoral College vote, doesn’t “deal with the problem” and would be “doing the bare minimum.”

“Let me take this opportunity to make clear that plan, the McConnell plan that’s what it is, is … unacceptably insufficient and even offensive,” Schumer said. 

Schumer’s comments come after McConnell floated on Wednesday that making changes to the Electoral Count Act was “worth discussing.”

McConnell’s comments came as Democrats are pursuing broader election and voting legislation, which has been blocked previously by Republicans, as GOP-led states pursue new voting laws after the 2020 election.

“Some score-keeping matters little if the game is rigged,” Schumer said. 

But to get voting rights legislation through the Senate, Democrats will need to change the legislative filibuster — a move that will require total unity from their caucus that they don’t yet have. 

There’s bipartisan, bicameral interest in trying to make changes to the Electoral Count Act after dozens of Republicans tried unsuccessfully to challenge Electoral College results in key battleground states. Former President Trump also tried unsuccessfully to get then-Vice President Mike Pence to throw out results in his role presiding over Congress’s counting of the Electoral College results.

But Democrats are vowing that they won’t drop the voting rights push in order to focus on Electoral Count Act reforms. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters on Wednesday that if there’s going to be an agreement it will have to be separate and after Democrats wrap up their discussions on trying to change the legislative filibuster.