Pelosi Claims That She Could Have Refused to Seat Miller-Meeks if She ‘Wanted to be Unfair’

Recently, an investigation was launched by the House Administration Committee due to an appeal filed by former Democratic rep Rita Hart, who lost her seat by 6 votes in the last election to current U.S. House Rep Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA).

At the time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused to rule out unseating Miller-Meeks from Congress and in an interview to day, she claimed that she could have refused to seat her in the first place if she “wanted to be unfair.”

A clip of what appeared to be a response to a question about the situation was shared by Mike Berg, who is the Deputy Communications Director for the NRCC.

Pelosi began the clip by saying, “Well, we wanted to be fair” and Berg quoted Pelosi, who said, “If I wanted to be unfair I wouldn’t have seated the Rep from Iowa because that was my right on the opening day. I would have just said, you’re not seated, and that would have been my right as Speaker to do.”

It is unclear if it was her right or not, but we found that a case decided in 1969, Powell v. McCormack, it was ruled that “An individual who meets the constitutional requirements for being a member of the House of Representatives may not be denied a seat there upon being properly elected.”

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R) said at a news conference today that she believes the potential push by Pelosi to overturn the election decision “is a partisan power grab.”

Reynolds argued the news conference that if the Democratic-controlled House overturned Miller-Meeks’ certified victory, it would be “a forecast of what’s to come” if the congressional Democrats’ wide-ranging election reform and campaign finance bill becomes law and warned that “state election law would be wiped away.”

From Fox News:

Any potential move by the House Administration Committee to award the victory to Hart would have to be approved by a vote in the full chamber, and with a fragile majority, Pelosi can’t afford to lose many Democratic votes.

Reynolds, Iowa’s governor since 2017, took aim at Hart, saying that if the Democrat “disagreed with the certified result, she had the option to challenge in Iowa’s fair and impartial courts. Instead, she decided to skip an independent judiciary and went straight to Nancy Pelosi and her Democrat friends in Congress. She choose to skip Iowa courts because she knew that her claims weren’t strong enough to pass the judicial process.”

“Rita Hart isn’t just asking Congress to overturn a state-certified election. She’s asking Democrats to throw out Iowa law in deciding which votes to count. She actually asked Congress to quote ‘depart from Iowa law,'” Reynolds stressed. “It really is as crazy as it sounds. I’m appalled, and I believe that Iowans are just as appalled.”

The showdown in the House comes just a few months after congressional Democrats pushed back on then-President Trump’s repeated false claims that there had been massive voter fraud and that the election was stolen from him. Trump attempted to upend his presidential election loss to Joe Biden and claimed that Congress had the power to unilaterally overturn the results of the 2020 election.

A very small but growing number of House Democrats are breaking with their party’s leadership in the Iowa-02 showdown.

Earlier this week, Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota wrote on Twitter that “losing a House election by six votes is painful for Democrats. But overturning it in the House would be even more painful for America.”

Hours later, as first reported by Fox News, Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas of New Hampshire said the Iowa election had been decided.

“This election result was certified by the State of Iowa and Rep. Miller-Meeks was sworn in nearly three months ago,” he said. “As I said when Republicans challenged the Electoral College votes on January 6th, the election is over and it’s time to move on.”

Reynolds, in her comments, also tied the current showdown to the Democrats’ sweeping election reform bill which passed along party lines but faces an uncertain future in a split Senate.

The governor warned that “Rita Hart’s request that the House ignore Iowa law – it truly is a forecast of what’s to come if Democrats get their way and H.R. 1 becomes law. If that happens, state election law will be wiped away. We cannot let this happen. We cannot federalize our elections. And if it can happen in Iowa, it can happen in every other state in this country.”

Democrats highlight that their bill would “improve access to the ballot box” by creating automatic voter registration across the country and by ensuring that individuals who have completed felony sentences have their full voting rights restored. The bill will also expand early voting and enhance absentee voting by simplifying voting by mail. There was a surge in absentee voting during last year’s primaries and general election due to health concerns of in-person voting at polling stations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The measure also commits Congress to deliver “full congressional voting rights and self-government for the residents of the District of Columbia, which only statehood can provide,” prohibits voter roll purges and aims to end “partisan gerrymandering” of congressional districts.

Republicans slam the measure, saying it would lead to a federal government takeover of elections and accuse Democrats of trying to change election rules to benefit themselves. But Democrats say the measure is needed to combat the push by GOP lawmakers in some states where Republicans control the governors office and the legislature to pass bills that would tighten voting laws, which Democrats characterize as voter suppression.

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