Pelosi Says She Will Seat Republican Amid Contested Election

OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion

House Speaker and California Rep. Nancy Pelosi has ruined the Democrats chances of gaining another seat in the House of Representatives.

The 80-year-old Speaker thwarted Democrat efforts to seat the Democrat candidate in a contested Iowa House election, Politico reported.

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.

In a controversial move, Hart has bypassed the Iowa courts and made her appeal contesting the results directly to the House. A House investigation is expected to take several months to make a recommendation on the true winner and then Congress can vote on who should hold the seat.

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,” Drew Hammill, the Speaker’s spokesman said in a statement after Pelosi’s 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.”

Democrats are able to object to seating Miller-Meeks but the optics of doing that, as President Donald Trump contests his election,

“Folks are anxious about it, for good reason,” Democrat Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee, the House Democrats’ chief deputy whip, said to the Washington Examiner.

“For most of us, we’re wired to accept the results that are certified by state and county, canvassers, and it’s very difficult for us to reach into somebody else’s tabulations and decide for ourselves that we want to change the outcome unless there is compelling, overwhelming evidence to support the case, and I haven’t looked at that. I haven’t seen it,” he said.

“I think our default setting for many of us — is trust the local process,” he said as he acknowledged the contradiction it would be as Democrats say the results of the presidential election should be accepted.

“We’ve been making that argument for two months now, it’s pretty hard to make a different argument when it’s convenient,” the Democrat said.

The attempt by Hart has been successful three time, between 1933 and 2009, with the most recent happening in 1984, the Congressional Research Service. In 1984 Indiana certified the victory of Republican Rick McIntyre but Democrat Frank McCloskey went to the House to change the result and was successful.

It should be an interesting next couple of weeks in Washington DC as this situations, and the president’s, take center stage.

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