Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21) issued the following statement Wednesday after voting against H.R.8873, the “Presidential Election Reform Act”:
Americans deserve a federal election process in which they can place their full faith and trust without reservation; the bill hastily presented to this chamber does not serve that end.
I will not vote to further politicize a process which Congress has a moral duty to depoliticize. This legislation would allow members of Congress to reject electoral votes over mere personal beliefs about whether or not an election winner took part in an “insurrection” — with no judicial findings of fact or conclusions of law required. There are provisions of this bill that are possibly or even likely unconstitutional and clear violations of federalism, such as creating a federal right of action to sue states and state officials for violations of their own laws. Lest we forget, we are a union of states and we further empower the federal leviathan at our own peril.
As I said on January 6, 2021 – Congress’ job is to count the votes and nothing more. I would welcome the ability to debate, amend, and consider amendments to the Electoral Count Act including some of the provisions in this bill.
Which brings me to the final and most important point. I saw bill text day before yesterday. We voted today. That is facially absurd. The legislation did not go through standing committee markup and there has been zero legitimate debate and no opportunity for amendment from rank-and-file representatives. We’ve had no opportunity to discuss the workability or constitutionality of the myriad new procedures created in this legislation. Efforts like this mock the very principle of self-government by cutting out members of Congress — and therefore cutting out their constituents — from the process and impede any real efforts to reform the Electoral Count Act — some of which I would likely support.