Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not plan to work with Donald Trump to delay the upcoming election.
The possibility of delaying the established election date of November 3 was floated on Thursday morning by the president via his Twitter page. This prompted an immediate flurry of discussion across social media, and it did not take long for politicians in Washington, D.C., to weigh in on the idea.
According to The Washington Post, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were quick to denounce the idea. McConnell was asked about this during an interview with WNKY, which was shared via the reporter’s Twitter page. He did not hedge as he responded.
“Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time,” he said.
He added that they would find a way to do it once again come the established election date of November 3.
Trump may have floated the idea about moving the election via his social media page, but experts indicate that he does not have the power to make this happen himself. The Constitution lays out the specifics, and regardless of people voting this fall, the current terms end on January 20.
Congress has the sole power to determine when the votes are cast. The Atlantic explains that it would require an act of Congress to overturn the law setting the date for the election.
Changing this is not something that could be done via executive order. McConnell made it clear he isn’t going to take up the fight to make this happen. Even if he were to try to lead this effort, the measure would also have to pass in the House. It would seem unlikely that Rep. Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic majority would vote in favor of changing the timing for the election.
The majority leader wasn’t the only prominent GOP politician to voice his disagreement with the concept. Sens. John Barrasso, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, and Kevin McCarthy shared similar responses indicating no willingness to try to delay the election. McCarthy, who represents California, is currently the minority leader in the House.
Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, told Fox Business that “obviously” the president knows he cannot make a move like this himself. She claimed that Trump’s suggestion came as a result of what he said were Democratic efforts to erase integrity safeguards.
Given the quick responses from these prominent Republican leaders, it seems unlikely that this concept will gain much, if any, traction in the days ahead.