Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Thursday it was within her “right” not to seat the certified election winner in Iowa.
Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa won the seat in November 2020, defeating the Democratic candidate Rita Hart by a mere six votes, as previously reported. Hart requested a recount, and one was fully provided with bipartisan support. The election was officially certified by the Iowa State Board of Canvassers, stating Miller-Meeks received a total of 196,964, and Hart a total of 196,958, according to the report.
“If I wanted to be unfair, I wouldn’t have seated the Republican 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 so,” Pelosi said on Wednesday. (RELATED: ‘Morally Reprehensible’: 124 Republicans Blast Pelosi’s Attempt To Overturn Congressional Election)
In a March 14 interview, ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos asked the Speaker, “Why investigate an election that was certified by the state?”
“Well, it was six votes. It was six votes and our candidate Rita Hart, the Democratic candidate, asked for this process to begin. Six votes out of 400,000 votes cast. This is not unique. This has happened — maybe even when you were in the Capitol before when races had been close one side or the others say, let’s take it to the House. Because even Justice Scalia agreed that the House has the authority to seat members, and therefore we can count the votes,” she replied.
At least 22 Iowans’ legally-cast ballots still have not been counted in #IA02. We are glad to see the Cmte. on Administration taking the next step towards ensuring that every legally-cast vote is counted in this race and that all Iowans’ voices are heard. https://t.co/BEufIhJGin
— Rita Hart (@RitaHartIA) March 10, 2021
Hart’s legal team filed a brief on Monday with the House Administration Committee looking to overturn the House seat. “Contestant Hart initiated this contested election case to vindicate the promise of our democratic system: that the representatives who serve us have been selected by the votes of their constituents, not the errors and caprices of election administrators,” the brief read in part.