Mike Pence Says Capitol Riot, Voting Rights Act are Both 'Power Grabs'

© AP Photo / Saul LoebVice President Mike Pence officiates as a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to confirm the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Vice President Mike Pence officiates as a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to confirm the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.01.2022
6 January 2022 marked the first anniversary of the Capitol riot, which saw scores of Trump supporters attempting to stop Congress from certifying the results of what former US President Donald Trump slammed as "the most corrupt election" in American history.
Former US Vice President Mike Pence has claimed that both the 6 January 2021 Capitol riot and Democrats' current drive to pass voting rights protections are "power grabs" that pose a threat to the nation's Constitution.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post (WaPo), Pence wrote that the Biden administration's plan "to end the filibuster to allow Democrats to pass a bill nationalising our elections would offend the founders' intention that states conduct elections just as much as what some of our most ardent supporters would have had me do one year ago".

The ex-vice president referred to last year's events on 6 January, when he refused to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, prompting a strong rebuke from then­-POTUS Donald Trump.
A surveillance camera stands near the East Front of the U.S. Capitol at sunset on January 5, 2022 in Washington, DC - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.01.2022
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In the WaPo article Pence argued: "The notion that Congress would break the filibuster rule to pass a law equaling a wholesale takeover of elections by the federal government is inconsistent with our nation's history and an affront to our constitution's structure".

The US Constitution, however, explicitly gives Congress a role in establishing the rules for federal elections.
Under Article I, Section IV, "The Times, Places, and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations".
Pence also claimed that the Democrats' push to scrap the filibuster to "nationalise" elections "would massively increase opportunities for election fraud, further erode confidence in our elections, and deliver an irreversible victory for the radical left".

"The plan would mandate the most questionable and abuse-prone election rules nationwide, while banning common-sense measures to detect, deter, and prosecute election fraud", the former vice president alleged.

The remarks come after President Joe Biden said said that he supports creating an exception to the filibuster in the Senate to make way for voting rights legislation that his party has struggled to pass.
The so-called "Freedom to Vote Act" stipulates expanding mail-in voting and giving more power to federal authorities.
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks about educational freedom at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.11.2021
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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) earlier said that the Senate will vote to change its filibuster rules by 17 January in order to secure passage of the new voting rights-related legislation.
Republicans have criticised the proposed bill as an attempt by Democrats to federalise elections in the United States and significantly enhance their chances of winning elections.
On 6 January 2021, hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in Washington, DC, to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College votes in favour of Democrat Joe Biden, in a riot that claimed the lives of five people.
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