DES MOINES, Iowa – Earlier this month, the Committee on House Administration voted along party lines in favor of a resolution to postpone U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ motion to dismiss Rita Hart’s challenge of the election results in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District race.
This is seen as the first step for House Democrats to overturn Miller-Meeks’ election. After a recount, Miller-Meeks, a Republican, defeated Hart, a Democrat, by six votes. The state canvassing board then certified the election.
In December, Hart announced she would bypass contesting the Iowa 2nd Congressional District race results in Iowa’s courts. Instead, her campaign filed a petition through the Committee on House Administration under the Federal Contested Election Act.
Hart filed the petition, and Miller-Meeks, who was sworn in provisionally, then filed the motion to dismiss.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, said overturning the election was a possibility.
“Could you see a scenario? We don’t do press conferences on ‘can you see a scenario.’ Of course! Of course!” Fox News reported Pelosi said during a press conference on March 11. “I respect the work of the committee. … We’ll see where that takes us. There could be a scenario to that extent.”
Several House Democrats are starting to balk at the possibility of the House overturning the results certified by a bipartisan canvassing board.
“Losing a House election by six votes is painful for Democrats. But overturning it in the House would be even more painful for America. Just because a majority can, does not mean a majority should,” U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., tweeted on Monday.
Chad Pergram tweeted that his Fox News colleague, Paul Steinhauser, reported U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., said, “This election result was certified by the State of Iowa and Rep. Miller-Meeks was sworn in nearly three months ago..it’s time to move on.”
Several Democratic members of Congress expressed concern, Politico reported.
“As I have said before in connection with the 2020 presidential election, legislators should be heeding states’ certifications of their elections. Unless there is rampant error and substantial evidence thereof, I do not believe it is the role of House members to dictate the outcome of elections.,” Politico reported that U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa. said during a DCCC call.
“I have deep reservations,” U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., told Politico.
U.S. Rep. David Price, D-N.C., told Fox News on Sunday, he didn’t think the House would overturn the election.
“I don’t think there’s the slightest chance that would happen. I think I have confidence that all sides of that House Administration Committee process are well aware how sensitive and how difficult this is, and I look for them to have a conscientious process, and then I look to evaluate what they come up with,” he said.
Several Democrats said the House should leave this process up to the state.
“I think these are issues that right now are probably best left at the state level,” U.S. Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., told CNN last week.
“This is an issue that states should have primary responsibility in determining the outcome of the election. The state of Iowa certified it, and that’s what should stand,” he also said in an interview with Politico.
“The standard has to be a very high standard. Unless we see compelling evidence that there’s something seriously wrong, then we should defer to state and local officials,” U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., told The Wall Street Journal.
Not all House Democrats concerned about House Democrats overturning the election were willing to go on the record, as The Hill reported.
“It strikes me as remarkably hypocritical and a dangerous precedent at a time we need to be repairing precedents,” said one moderate Democrat, who requested anonymity from The Hill.
The Hill reported a second moderate House Democrat echoed those remarks: “As painful as it was to lose this election by six votes, and although I sympathize with Rita Hart, the state-certified these election results. Upending them at this point would only serve to further divide the country.”
Miller-Meeks’ lone Democratic House colleague, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, has been silent, but her Republican colleagues in the House and Senate sent a letter, spearheaded by U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, to Pelosi urging her to uphold the election results.
“Iowans made their choice known at the ballot box and Congresswoman Miller-Meeks was elected fairly; the votes have been counted, recounted, and certified in a bipartisan manner. She has taken the Oath of Office and is already serving her constituents. We stand firmly with the American people of Iowa’s Second Congressional District – whose right and will it is for her to serve as their elected Representative in Congress,” wrote the lawmakers. “Furthermore, we are astounded by your hypocrisy as the Speaker to support an investigation into this free and fair election while simultaneously claiming voter fraud does not exist nationally. If election security concerns are unwarranted, as you claim, then there is certainly no reason for the Committee on House Administration to be moving forward with such an outrageous request to unseat the legitimately elected Congresswoman.”
In addition to Hinson, U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, and U.S. Senators Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, signed along with 120 additional Republican members of Congress.
Read the full letter below:Hinson_Letter_to_Pelosi_re_IA_02_03.23.21_SIGNED_FINAL