House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled on Thursday that there could be a situation in which Democrats unseat Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) and replace her with the Democratic challenger that she beat in last year’s election, Rita Hart.
“On Wednesday, a congressional committee punted a motion to dismiss Democrat Rita Hart’s election contest of the result of Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District election in November before first considering the merits of her appeal,” the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported. “The U.S. House Committee on House Administration postponed its consideration of a motion to dismiss, which was filed by U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, the Republican who was certified by state officials as the winner of Iowa’s 2nd District by just six votes.”
On Thursday, a reporter asked Pelosi at a press conference if there was a real scenario in which Democrats could unseat Miller-Meeks and replace her with Hart.
Here is the exchange that Pelosi had with Fox News reporter Chad Pergram [emphasis added]:
PERGRAM: So yesterday the House Administration Committee voted to continue its inquiry into the Iowa 2nd Congressional District. Could you see a scenario, depending on what they find in their probe, of unseating the current member and Rita Hart …?
PELOSI: You know, Chad is always the hypothetical. Could you see a scenario? We don’t do press conferences on can you see a scenario?
PERGRAM: … that would be a pretty bold move to do that.
PELOSI: Well, I respect the work of the Committee. I did see, as you saw in the press, what they decided to, and they were following my, as I read it, the requirements of the law as to how you go forward, and how you go forward is the path you’re on. And, and we’ll see where that takes us. Yeah, but there could be a scenario to that extent, yes.
The Iowa Republican Party tweeted out the video clip, writing: [Nancy] Pelosi and House Democrats are going to try and steal #IA02.”
“@millermeeks ’ victory was certified by a bipartisan state board, which the House has already accepted results from whe[n] they sat the rest of Iowa’s delegation,” they added. “They must be stopped.”
🚨Nach Pelosi and House Democrats are going to try and steal #IA02.@millermeeks’ victory was certified by a bipartisan state board, which the House has already accepted results from whe they sat the rest of Iowa’s delegation.
They must be stopped. pic.twitter.com/wyAc1MlMlo
— Iowa GOP (@IowaGOP) March 11, 2021
“The last time the House chose to overturn a state-certified election was an acrimonious affair. After the 1984 elections, the House Democratic majority refused to seat the Republican challenger to Democratic Rep. Frank McCloskey,” Politico reported. “A Republican official in Indiana certified the GOP candidate, Richard McIntyre, as the winner, but a recount conducted by Congress found McCloskey won by 4 votes. When the House Democrats voted to seat McCloskey, Republicans stormed out of the chamber in protest.”
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Ranking Member on the House Administration Committee, said last month after Democrats started the process that allows them to review the case, “I can’t think of a worst first step this committee could take in a new Congress than to waste taxpayer dollars by moving forward with overturning this election.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.