News and Commentary

Pelosi To Seat GOP Congresswoman-Elect Who Won By Six Votes On Provisional Basis, Says Spokesperson
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 30: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks at her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on December 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. Speaker Pelosi began her briefing with condolences to the family of Representative-elect Luke Letlow (R-LA), who died the previous day from COVID-19.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

A spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Wednesday that the leader of the House Democrats plans to seat Congresswoman-elect Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), who officially beat a Democratic congressional candidate in Iowa by six votes, on a provisional basis.

“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 Hammil, a spokesperson for Pelosi told Politico on Wednesday. “Pending the outcome of the Committee’s review and consistent with House practice, we intend to provisionally seat the Republican candidate on Sunday.”

Hammil’s remarks come after Pelosi herself said she planned to seat Miller-Meeks when the new Congress convenes on Sunday, despite the ongoing challenge from Democratic congressional candidate Rita Hart, a former Iowa state senator.

Hart has filed a petition to the U.S. House of Representatives itself in which she alleged that 22 ballots in the district were improperly not counted, ballots that her campaign says could sway the outcome of the closest congressional election this cycle in her favor. According to The Des Moines Register, the U.S. House Committee on Administration will decide “whether to open an investigation or dismiss the claims” after the Miller-Meeks campaign is given a chance to file an official response.

“[Twenty-two] ballots remain uncounted from Election Night & thousands of others that were never examined,” tweeted Hart last week. “We’ve got to count the votes & get this right.”

The state canvassing board certified Miller-Meeks as the winner in late November. The official results showed Miller-Meeks winning 196,964 votes, and Hart winning 196,958 votes. According to Politico, congressional records show that only three certified election winners have not been seated since 1933.

Hart’s campaign said in a statement last week that the petition contesting the results of the Iowa congressional race would outline “why Rita is the winner” of the election. The petition “explains why the House should count every legally cast ballot to guarantee fulfillment of each voter’s constitutional right,” said the Hart campaign’s statement.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), in a statement shared by Miller-Meeks on Twitter, called Pelosi’s decision to seat Miller-Meeks in Congress “good news” but said that the congresswoman-elect’s seating should be done permanently, not on a provisional basis. Grassley emphasized the decision on who should represent Iowa’s second congressional district in Congress should be made in Iowa, not by “partisan politicians” in the nation’s capital.

As of Wednesday, Miller-Meeks has prepared to assume the role of Iowa congresswoman by resigning from the Iowa state Senate, where she’s served since 2013.

The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Pelosi To Seat GOP Congresswoman-Elect Who Won By Six Votes On Provisional Basis, Says Spokesperson