House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she might see a situation in which the full House opposes the will of Iowa voters after a Democrat-dominated House committee declined to reject a proposal to have the House reverse a Republican-won congressional election in Iowa.
According to Fox News, Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks beat Democratic challenger Rita Hart by six votes out of over 400,000 cast in the election to serve Iowa’s Second Congressional District.
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Hart has asked the House to reverse the results using the Federal Contested Election Act. The act requires the House to determine elections rather than the courts. Hart argues that 22 votes were not counted that could have swung the election, and that the procedures used to conduct a recount differed from county to county, making the results untrustworthy.
According to Fox News, the House Administration Committee put aside a motion from Miller-Meeks to dismiss Hart’s assertion on Wednesday.
During Pelosi’s weekly media conference, a concern about the procedure was posed.
According to a Rev.com transcript of the briefing, she was asked, “Could you see a possibility based on what they found in their probe of unseating the current number and seating Rita Hard if it came to that?”
“Well, I admire the committee’s efforts. I saw what they wanted to do, as you saw in the papers… And they were following my, as I read it, legal criteria on how you can proceed. And the road you’re on is the one you’re on, and we’ll see where it leads us. However, there may be a case that goes that far. “Yes,” Pelosi replied.
.@millermeeks won the election, which is why I signed the election certification along with the Iowa SOS and the State Auditor! Now Rita Hart and Nancy Pelosi are circumventing the Iowa process for a partisan one! #IA02 https://t.co/UIQdHCxViH
— Kim Reynolds (@KimReynoldsIA) March 12, 2021
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This is outrageous.
If Democrats unseat a Republican who won her election, Republicans need to draw the line and say they will not seat any member of Congress who votes to unseat her once they're in the majorityhttps://t.co/q5tg6gcC2i
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) March 11, 2021
According to KCCI-TV, Miller-Meeks’ motion to dismiss Hart’s assertion was defeated on a 6-3 party-line vote.
“Today’s committee vote was purely procedural. The motion to dismiss brought by Congresswoman Miller-Meeks is still pending. The legal staff for the Congresswoman will prepare and file a response to the notice of contest. Meanwhile, Congresswoman Miller-Meeks is concentrating on meeting the interests of her constituents, according to Alan Ostergren, Miller-Meeks’ campaign counsel.
“Rita Hart’s contest is no more valid today than it was when it was first submitted. Her reluctance to have her arguments heard by unbiased judges in Iowa shows what we need to know about her case’s shortcomings. “During the recount, Hart disobeyed Iowa law, and she disobeyed Iowa law again when she refused to make her case before an Iowa contest court,” he added.
“She hopes that her Democratic colleagues in Washington, D.C. would disregard Iowa law and House precedents in order to give her the congressional seat that the electorate denied her. Hart’s search for power is unconstitutional and detrimental to our democratic system.”
According to the Congressional Research Service, three candidates attempted Hart’s technique and were successful between 1933 and 2009, with the most recent instance occurring in 1984, when the state of Indiana certified Republican Rick McIntyre as the winner, forcing Democrat Frank McCloskey to seek re-election in the House.
While McIntyre had a 34-vote lead when Indiana certified its results, McCloskey was declared the winner by just four votes after the Democratic-majority House completed its recount.
With all of the problems surrounding the election, Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan, the chief deputy whip, told the Washington Examiner that overturning the Iowa results might be a political black eye.
“I think for many of us, our default setting is to trust the local process,” Kildee said.
“We’ve been making that point for two months, and it’s pretty difficult to come up with a new one when it’s convenient.”