David M. Rubin
Nancy Says "No" Again -
Dr. Annie Andrews has deftly nailed Nancy Mace's approach to governance in her one term representing the First Congressional District in South Carolina: Just vote "No" on everything.
Dr. Andrews has created an e-book (available for viewing on her campaign website) that is written from the perspective of a fictional ten year-old named "Susie."
Susie wonders why Rep. Mace keeps voting "No" on bills that would make life better for her and other children.
Why, Susie wonders, would she vote against an assault weapons ban and more protection for schools?
Why would she vote against the Inflation Reduction Act that provides money to protect the environment and the beaches Susie loves?
Why would she not support a woman's right to privacy and to make choices affecting her own reproductive health?
And why would she vote against creating the January 6 Commission that is investigating how Donald Trump attempted to steal an election? Does Mace want to take away Susie's democracy?
Why did Nancy say "No" to all of this?
True to form, Mace did it again on September 21 when she voted "No" on the House bill to overhaul the confusing, 135 year-old Electoral Count Act. This post-Civil War law is the one Trump used to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to halt the count of electoral votes and steal the election.
Republican Liz Cheney and Democrat Zoe Lofgren sponsored the overhaul, which passed 229-203. Nine Republicans, including South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice, voted for the bill. (All nine will not be returning to Congress for the next term because they either resigned or were defeated in primaries by MAGA Republicans.) Mace, the back-bencher and Kevin McCarthy loyalist that she is, voted, what else, "NO."
I looked for a statement from Mace justifying this vote. As of the morning of September 22, she had said nothing---not on social media, particularly Twitter, her favorite. Nor had she issued a press release. I called her office in Washington to confirm there was no statement, and there wasn't.
She did have time, however, to post a Tweet complaining that gas prices were higher now than two years ago. She neglected to note that two years ago we were in the grip of the pandemic and the economy was in lockdown, so of course gas prices were low. There was no demand. This simple economic fact seems too complex for her to grasp.
Nor did she mention that gas prices have been falling rapidly for the past few weeks. As Mace and her fellow Republicans thrash about looking for an issue-- any issue--with which to attack Democrats in the next six weeks, it must be discouraging for them that gas prices keep falling.
The electoral count legislation Mace voted against provides a number of reforms to the complex method by which we decide the next President.
It makes clear that the Vice President's role is strictly to open envelopes and count each state's electoral votes. He or she has no decisions to make, no role to play other than ceremonial. No Trumpian figure can pressure a future Vice President to halt the count.
The bill makes it much harder for Congress to intervene in this process. At present it takes only one member of the House and Senate to object to the slate of electors submitted by a state. (You will remember the farce in the Senate when Trump coup supporters Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and a few others rose to challenge the electors from states Joe Biden had won.)
The new bill requires that fully a third of the members of the House and Senate must object to a state's electors for such an objection to be considered.
States would have to choose their electors under laws in place before the election.
The law also makes clear when a judge can order recalcitrant election officials to count ballots or certify a winner if they are refusing to do so.
The Senate is working on its own bill to reform this process. Unless Senate Republicans filibuster it, the Senate version and the House version will go to conference for reconciliation.
Once a final version is agreed upon, Mace will have a second chance to vote. Then, without doubt, Dr. Andrews can add another page to the "Nancy Said No" book