Representative Steve Cohen’s (D-TN-09) initiative to abolish the electoral college hasn’t progressed much since it was introduced back in January. The last action on the resolution occurred early last month, when it was referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. No dates are listed to consider the resolution, though Cohen is the subcommittee chairman.
Other members of that committee are Vice Chair Deborah Ross (D-NC-02), Jamie Raskin (D-MD-08), Henry “Hank” Johnson (D-GA-04), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29), Cori Bush (D-MO-01), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18), Mike Johnson (R-LA-04), Tom McClintock (D-CA-04), Chip Roy (D-TX-21), Michelle Fischbach (D-MN-07), and Burgess Owens (D-UT-04).
In a press release accompanying the resolution’s introduction, Cohen cited the January 6th Capitol Hill riot as a reason to abolish the electoral college.
“It was during the largely ceremonial certification of the Electoral College vote that a mob invaded the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday at the urging of a president who had lost the popular vote by more than seven million votes,” stated Cohen.
Cohen called the Founding Fathers’ design an “archaic institution.” He faulted the electoral college for twice awarding the presidency to individuals who didn’t win the popular vote, though he didn’t fault the electoral college for recently awarding the presidency to President Joe Biden.
In short, the resolution would urge the Congress to dictate the nation by majority rule: a direct election of the presidency and vice presidency by the majority.
Over the years, Cohen has consistently pushed for the abolition of the electoral college. He made a similar effort in 2019. Cohen claimed that the system was “conceived in sin” because it resides within the Constitution, which he said was a part of the institution of slavery. Cohen pushed his claims further, arguing that these systems within the Constitution perpetuate slavery today.
Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report April 2 on the renewed debate over retaining, reforming, or abolishing the electoral college, with a focus on Cohen’s resolution.
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