MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Representative Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, announced Friday plans to introduce a resolution to abolish the Electoral College saying the presidency should be decided by the popular vote.
The congressman is Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. He introduced a joint resolution calling for an end to the Electoral College at the beginning of the previous Congress in 2019.
A news release from his office calls the Electoral College an “archaic institution” that has in the last two decades twice given the White House to a candidate who did not win the popular vote, “defeating the will of the American people.”
“The Americans expect and deserve the winner of the popular vote to win office,” reads a statement from the congressman. “More than a century ago, we amended our Constitution to provide for the direct election of U.S. Senators. It is past time to directly elect our President and Vice President. The Electoral College is a vestige of the 18th Century when voters didn’t know the candidates who now appear daily on their television screens. Wednesday’s mayhem at the Capitol shows that efforts can be made to manipulate the Electoral College vote using falsehoods and shenanigans by ambitious politicians. The President should always be elected by the people, not the politicians, and the Electoral College allows politicians to make the ultimate decision. It is well past time to do away with this anachronistic institution and guarantee a fair and accurate vote for President.”
Cohen also cited the pro-Trump supporters who rioted at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday to interrupt certification of the Electoral College vote.
The congressman shared his condolences to the family of a U.S. Capitol police officer who died from injuries suffered during the riot. Cohen was in the House Gallery Wednesday when pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.
“I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Officer Sicknick, who died defending the U.S. Capitol complex and those of us who work there from mob violence. I strongly support Speaker Pelosi’s decision to lower the flags at the Capitol to half-staff in his honor,” Cohen said in a statement. “The attack on our citadel of republican self-government was an historic assault on a symbol of our liberty. Those responsible for Officer Sicknick’s death should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, as should those who engaged in the insurrection that resulted in his death and the deaths of four others. It is through dedication and service like his that we continue to enjoy the blessings of liberty.”