WASHINGTON – Joined by U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, a former county auditor and local commissioner of elections in Iowa, spoke on the U.S. Senate floor to denounce a Congressional Democrat plan that would, in effect, federalize elections. The proposed bill follows House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s $600,000 taxpayer-funded effort to overturn Miller-Meeks’ election in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District in 2020.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has said he wants to eliminate the filibuster for this specific piece of legislation. With the filibuster, the bill is unlikely to pass.
A transcript of Ernst’s remarks follows (watch her remarks above):
“Hey folks, did you hear about the attempt to steal an election?
“Maybe you heard about this a year ago or so. A big attempt to steal an election.
“Just last year, Washington insiders colluded to overturn the will of the people in a fair and free election.
“Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, attempted to steal a seat in the House.
“Iowa’s Second District congresswoman won her election in 2020 and was certified by Iowa’s Secretary of State, 24 County Auditors from both parties, and the bipartisan State Board of Canvass.
“And she is here with me today, Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks. Thank you for being here today, Representative.
“In a blatant, political power grab—the Speaker of the House spent over $600,000—of taxpayer money—in an attempt to unseat Congresswoman Miller-Meeks.
“Even some reasonable members of the Democratic Party sounded the alarm bell on this brazen attempt to reverse the election results.
“Representative Dean Phillips said at the time: ‘Losing a House election by six votes is painful for Democrats. But overturning it in the House would be even more painful for America.’
“Voters in Iowa and across America should choose their representatives and without interference from politicians in Washington.
“Guaranteeing both the right to vote as well as the integrity of our election system ensures fair and free elections, which are the foundation of our republic.
“The attempt to overturn the Iowa election results was the opening salvo in the Left’s ongoing rush to take over our elections.
“Democrats’ proposals are seeking to limit voter ID, legalize ballot harvesting, provide taxpayer money to campaigns, and weaponize the Federal Election Commission.
“Using fake hysteria, they are trying to blow up the Senate and fundamentally change our country.
“However, their very effort is unpopular, unnecessary, and unacceptable.
“Mr. President, I served as a local county auditor and commissioner of elections in Iowa.
“My home state has seen various commonsense election reforms throughout the years.
“In fact, in 2017 the Iowa legislature modernized our laws, which also included requiring Voter ID.
“At the time of its passage Democrats warned the law was ‘dangerous,’ an ‘unnecessary hurdle,’ and a ‘significant barrier’ for anyone who is not a white male.
“They could not have been further from the truth.
“Three times since the new Iowa voter law was implemented, the state has seen record high turnout for elections. This includes record high absentee voting during the 2020 presidential election.
“The 2021 elections also boasted record off year turnout. Record off year turnout.
“My friends on the other side of the aisle will have you believe that voters are being suppressed in ‘red states’ all over this country.
“The irony here is that New York, home of the Democratic Leader, and Delaware, home of President Biden, have some of the most restrictive voting laws in the entire country.
“Iowa, because it has modernized our elections in the number of past years, has been demonized by Democrats, when oddly enough, Iowa elections are much more progressive than Delaware and New York.
“Just this past November, New Yorkers overwhelmingly voted down a ballot initiative to allow no excuse absentee voting.
“New York voters also rejected a proposition that would have allowed individuals to register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day.
“By the Iowa, Iowa has same-day voter registration, thank you.
“Now the senior Senator from New York is threatening to destroy the Senate to override the wishes of the residents of his very own state who voted against the policies he is trying to impose on every other state.
“Does that sound like democracy to you?
“While the media will have you believe that Senate Republicans are blocking the Democratic Leader’s agenda—it’s really the voters of his own state.
“Liberal states have some of the most restrictive election laws in the country.
“Don’t take my word for it.
“An exposé recently published in The Atlantic found some states that the Democrats ‘control in the Northeast make casting a ballot more difficult than anywhere else’ and that the voting bill being pushed in Congress ‘would hit some blue states just as hard, if not harder’ than the red states they claim are limiting the right to vote.
“And I’ll remind you, Iowa is much more progressive than these states.
“Plain and simple, Washington Democrats are gas-lighting the American people.
“There is not a voting crisis in this country. It is manufactured.
“Their push to blow up the Senate and take over elections isn’t about voter access, it’s about power.
“The same power that liberal elites in Washington abused in their rush to steal Iowa’s Second Congressional District—now held by Congresswoman Miller-Meeks—and silence Iowans’ voices.
“Mr. President, what happened in Iowa—what was attempted in Iowa—should never be allowed to happen—anywhere—ever again.”
Miller-Meeks in an emailed statement called the bill a power grab.
“The majorities attempts to federalize elections are misguided and wrong for our country. Their legislation would overturn state laws and election procedures like the ones that have been so successful in states like Iowa. They spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on an ill-conceived plan to overturn my election and wasted months of precious time. This is nothing more than a partisan power-grab,” she said.