Boxer Floats Bill to Eliminate Electoral College; Reid Questions Legitimacy of Trump's Victory

Susan Jones | November 16, 2016 | 6:10am EST
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Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) (AP File Photo)

( - The bill has no chance of passing, but nevertheless, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), a supporter of Hillary Clinton, on Tuesday introduced legislation that would eliminate the constitutionally established Electoral College and have future presidents elected by the direct, popular vote.

Boxer and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) both noted on Tuesday that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but not the Electoral vote.

"In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote," Boxer said in a new release. "When all the ballots are counted, Hillary Clinton will have won the popular vote by a margin that could exceed two million votes, and she is on track to have received more votes than any other presidential candidate in history except Barack Obama.

"This is the only office in the land where you can get more votes and still lose the presidency," Boxer continued. "The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately. Every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts."

As of early Tuesday, Hillary Clinton had received 61,929,605 votes (47.8 percent) and Donald Trump had received 60,938,847 votes (47.0 percent), according to the Cook Political Report national popular vote tracker.

Boxer's bill would amend the Constitution, a process that requires the approval of three-fouths of the states.

In a divisive and derisive speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Harry Reid, the retiring leader of Senate Democrats, blamed Republican President-elect Donald Trump for a spate of post-election "hate crimes."

He also seemed to question the legitimacy of the election that will put Trump in the Oval Office:

"I've been in politics for five decades," Reid said on the Senate floor. "I've not seen anything like we're seeing today in America. A man who lost the popular vote by 2 million votes is now president-elect. Let me repeat that. A man who lost the election by 2 million votes or more is now the president-elect.

"His election sparked a wave of hate crimes across America. This is a simple statement of fact. But it raises critical questions for us as a country, as a nation.  How do we respond to the election of Donald Trump?" Reid asked.

Reid said Demorats want to work with Trump "where we can," on infrastructure projects for example.

But, he added, "We also have other responsibilities. We have a responsibility to be the voice of millions of Americans sitting at home, afraid that they're not welcome anymore in Donald Trump's America. We have a responsibility to prevent Trump's bullying and aggressive behavior from becoming normalized in the eyes of America."

Reid linked Trump to the Ku Klux Klan; he blasted Trump's choice of Stephen Bannon to be his chief strategist; and he also read several examples of "hate crimes" committed after the election, supposedly by Trump supporters. Reid said nothing about the rioting and disruptive supporters of Hillary Clinton.

In response to Reid's acrimonious speech, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said the Democrat leader is entitled to his opinion, "but he does nothing to contribute to the healing of our country after a very polarizing, hotly contested election by continuing to pile on the president-elect and his team."

Cornyn said for Reid to come to the floor after the people have spoken -- "and continue to disparage their choice for the next president as well as the leadership in the House and the Senate -- really just smacks of, well -- we used to call people like that sore losers.  But frankly, what he does is also contribute to the coarsening of our discourse and debate here in the United States Senate.

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