Rep. Gene Green’s Remarks at Judiciary Committee Forum: “The Electoral College and the Future of American Democracy”
WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Gene Green (TX-29) joined Democratic Members of the Judiciary Committee for a forum entitled “The Electoral College and the Future of American Democracy” to discuss with a panel of experts and noted scholars whether the Electoral College is in need of reform. Below are Rep. Green’s remarks:
“Thank you, Ranking Member Conyers, and colleagues on the Judiciary Committee for the opportunity to speak this afternoon on the Electoral College and the future of American Democracy.
“My name is Gene Green. I have the honor of representing the 29th District of Texas, covering Northside and Eastside Houston and Harris County. It is a minority opportunity district that is 76 percent Hispanic.
“A common complaint I hear at home is the feeling that voters are being disenfranchised by our current system for electing the President and Vice President.
“Last month, Secretary Clinton and Senator Kaine received 72 percent of the vote in my district, and 43 percent statewide, making it the closest race for President and Vice President in Texas in 20 years. Nevertheless, 100 percent of Texas’s electoral votes, 38 in all, will go to Mr. Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence.
“Nationally, Secretary Clinton is currently leading Mr. Trump by nearly 2.7 million votes, but Mr. Trump is expected to receive 306 electoral votes, making him the President-elect. This is due to narrow victories by Mr. Trump and Governor Pence in several battleground states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
“As Members of Congress, we have an obligation to examine our current system for electing the President, and ask if it is fair to all Americans. For the 72 percent of my constituents in Harris County, Texas who voted for Secretary Clinton, and for voters in California and New York who supported Mr. Trump, it is not.
“The 2016 General Election will be the second time in 16 years that the winner of the popular vote lost the Electoral College. In December 2000, I introduced a resolution in Congress to abolish the Electoral College and have the President and Vice President elected by direct popular vote.
“Since 2000, I have introduced this resolution seven times, most recently on November 17 as H.J.Res. 102, the Every Vote Counts Amendment. It currently has 17 cosponsors and I welcome all the Members here to support it.
“The creation of the Electoral College, like much our Constitution, was a compromise between the 13 original states. Since 1788, Congress and the states have made significant changes to the Constitution to modernize many of these original compromises, including the 17th Amendment, providing for the direct election of U.S. Senators, 15th Amendment, which gave all men the right to vote, regardless of race or color, and the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
“These amendments have made our country a more perfect union by expanding the franchise to all Americans and guaranteeing the direct election of all the people’s representatives in Congress.
“I urge my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee and in Congress to strongly consider changes towards how the President and Vice President are elected. As the people’s elected representatives, we have a duty to ensure that all Americans have an equal vote in determining who will be the next leader of our great country.
“Thank you for your time and consideration on this issue vital to the future of our country.”
Contact: Carlos Paz Jr.