RELEASE: Gottheimer Recognizes the Anniversary of January 6th Attack — Gottheimer’s Bipartisan Electoral Count Reform Legislation Signed into Law to Preserve Integrity of Elections

Jan 06, 2023
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C.

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Above: Gottheimer recognizing the second anniversary of the January 6th attack in front of the U.S. Capitol.

Today, January 6, 2023, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) recognized the anniversary of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol and highlighted how the Electoral Count Reform Act — bipartisan legislation Gottheimer led in the House that has now been signed into law — will preserve the integrity of our elections and protect democracy. Gottheimer was joined at a press conference outside the Capitol this morning by Congressman Dean Phillips (MN-3), a cosponsor of the Electoral Reform Act.

The bipartisan Electoral Count Reform Act, which was recently signed into law, reforms and modernizes the outdated Electoral Count Act of 1887 to ensure that electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for President. It replaces ambiguous provisions of the 19th-century law with clear procedures that maintain appropriate state and federal roles in selecting the President and Vice President of the United States as set forth in the U.S. Constitution. 

“Two years ago on this day, my colleagues and I — both Democrats and Republicans — sat side by side in the House Chamber to certify the duly elected President when lawless thugs from across the country breached the United States Capitol — the beacon of democracy for the world,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Domestic terrorists came to the Capitol that day in an attempt to upend our democracy and our nation’s more than 230-year tradition of a peaceful transition of power. They sought to pressure Vice President Pence to unilaterally overturn the results of the 2020 election. Their attempted obstruction failed, and our democracy persevered. Once again, America was triumphant.”

Gottheimer continued, “Now, instead of letting that day divide us, Republicans and Democrats came together in both the House and Senate to protect our electoral system and the will of the American people, and to help ensure an attack on our Capitol never happens again. The bipartisan Electoral Count Reform Act — now law — reforms and modernizes the outdated Electoral Count Act of 1887 and ensures that electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for President, further enshrining the power of each and every citizen’s vote. It will also replace archaic provisions of the nineteenth-century law to clearly designate the roles of the federal government when selecting the President and Vice President as set forth in the U.S. Constitution.”

Click HERE for a one-page summary of the Electoral Count Reform Act.

Video of today’s conference outside the U.S. Capitol can be found HERE.

Gottheimer’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below.

Good morning and thank you all for joining us here on this very important anniversary. 

Two years ago on this day, my colleagues and I — both Democrats and Republicans — sat side by side in the House chamber awaiting the certification of our duly elected president when lawless thugs from across the country breached the United States Capitol — the beacon of democracy for the world. 

They literally scaled the walls, smashed windows, broke down doors, used flag poles carrying our nation’s stars and stripes as weapons against our capitol police officers.

Why? They didn’t like the outcome that their fellow citizens had voted for.

They hunted down the vice president, often maiming capitol police and threatening the lives of Members of the U.S. Congress — Democrats and Republicans alike.

Domestic terrorists came to the Capitol that day in an attempt to upend our democracy and our nation’s more than 230-year tradition of a peaceful transition of power.

They sought to pressure Vice President Pence to unilaterally overturn the results of the 2020 election. 

Their attempted obstruction was foiled, and our democracy persevered. Once again, America was triumphant.

Now, instead of letting that day divide us, Republicans and Democrats came together in both the House and Senate to protect our electoral system and the will of the American people, and to help ensure an attack on our Capitol never happens again.

Working alongside our bipartisan Senate partners — Senators Susan Collins, Joe Manchin, and many others — and with a strong bipartisan group in the House, including Representatives Dean Phillips, Abigail Spanberger, Brian Fitzpatrick, and now-former Representatives Fred Upton and John Katko, I led the Electoral Count Reform Act and got it signed into law just weeks ago.

After witnessing the very threats made against the Vice President in an effort to pressure him to overturn the election after witnesses state after state attempt to overturn the votes and will of their own citizens and seeing the attack on the Capitol and what led to it, we knew that action must be taken. 

This bipartisan legislation — now law — reforms and modernizes the outdated Electoral Count Act of 1887 and ensures that electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for President, further enshrining the power of each and every citizen’s vote. It will also replace archaic provisions of the 19th-century law to clearly designate the roles of the federal government when selecting the President and Vice President as set forth in the U.S. Constitution. 

The legislation also takes action to reduce frivolous objections to electoral count certification by raising the threshold to hear objections to a state’s electors from just one member in each chamber to twenty percent of Congress. 

I’m very proud to have worked with both sides of the aisle to get this critical legislation signed into law to help ensure a peaceful transfer of power, to protect our great democracy, preserve the integrity of our elections, and prevent any attempts to undermine them.

These are the actual, substantive electoral policy changes that have happened in the aftermath of the attack.

Over these two years, we’ve been reminded just how important it is to come together — across party, backgrounds, and any lines that divide us. 

After the attack — a day that will always haunt our country — we came back to the House floor to certify the election, and I stood with Republican Congressman Tom Reed to address the House and urged both sides to come together. 

To this day, my thoughts continue to be with the brave law enforcement brutally attacked and all their loved ones.

Someone once asked Ben Franklin, “what have we got a republic or a monarchy – A republic replied the Franklin, if you can keep it.”

As we are seeing in real time, because it can be messy and try the country’s patience. 

We must not forget the dark days we’ve been through, and we must commit ourselves to unity, civility, and truth, and embrace our calling to a higher purpose, one that helps strengthen our nation. That’s the only way we will keep it.

I know that if we continue to come together to fight for and defend our right to vote, the integrity of our elections, our democracy, and our great American values, our best days will always be ahead of us. 

God bless our country, and may God bless our troops. 

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