Pelosi to “Provisionally Seat” Iowa Republican Despite Challenge From Democrat Who Lost By Six Votes
Would have been awkward for Pelosi not to seat the Republican who was certified the winner, considering just days later the Congress will consider challenges to Biden elector certifications.
In Iowa’s 2nd district, the race between Republican Marianette Miller-Meeks and Democrat Rita Hart came down to just six votes in favor of Miller-Meeks, who declared victory.
Days later, Hart appealed directly to the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. She basically wanted Nancy Pelosi to overrule the election and seat her instead of Miller-Meeks.
In a surprising move, Pelosi has decided to seat the Republican.
Pelosi to seat Republican in contested Iowa race
Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed Wednesday that she plans to seat the GOP winner of a contested race in Iowa on Jan. 3, despite a pending challenge from the Democratic contender in the razor-thin election.
Her decision avoids a brazen partisan showdown to kick off the 117th Congress, but it remains unclear if the GOP winner, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, will keep that seat for the entire two-year term, as Democrat Rita Hart continues to contest her six-vote loss, claiming not all legal ballots were properly counted…
Pelosi made the announcement during a press conference Wednesday, when she succinctly replied “yes” when asked if she planned to seat Miller-Meeks before moving on to another question.
“Every vote counts and that’s why the Committee on House Administration is conducting a thorough and fair review of this election to make sure every vote was counted and counted as cast,” Pelosi’s spokesperson, Drew Hammill, elaborated in a statement following the press conference. “Pending the outcome of the Committee’s review and consistent with House practice, we intend to provisionally seat the Republican candidate on Sunday.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says in a news conference she will seat Iowa Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks Sunday, despite on ongoing challenge from Democratic opponent Rita Hart. This race was decided by just six votes in IA-02. https://t.co/1kalPlYe1O
— Brianne Pfannenstiel (@brianneDMR) December 30, 2020
Tristan Justice of The Federalist describes what Rita Hart tried to do:
The mechanism used to challenge the narrow-thin margin directly in the lower chamber had not been triggered since 1984 between Democratic incumbent Frank McCloskey and Republican challenger Richard McIntyre in Indiana. At the time, House Speaker Tip O’Neill, presiding over a wider majority than Pelosi enjoys today, denied the state-certified winner, McIntyre, the seat until the process played out. After the Government Accountability Office re-examined the race and declared McCloskey the winner by four votes, the Democratic House voted the incumbent member of their caucus would retain the seat.
Pelosi’s decision to seat Miller-Meeks, who has also been certified as the rightful winner by state election officials in light of the ongoing challenges from the Democratic opponent, will likely be the nail in the coffin for Hart’s hopes of joining the 117th Congress.
Perhaps Pelosi felt that she couldn’t deny Miller-Meeks after two months of Democrats accusing Trump of threatening democracy for not conceding to Joe Biden.
Rita Hart will continue contesting the election but has not been described as a danger to democracy for reasons that should be obvious.DONATE
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