More than four months after the last election and two months after the new Congress was sworn in, Democrats led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are starting to make a move on reversing the outcome in Iowa’s 2nd District and removing Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks.
“Dramatic” and “historic” were just a few of the adjectives heard on Capitol Hill after Pelosi gave her blessing to a probe launched into the Iowa-2 race by the House Administration Committee requested by Democratic candidate Rita Hart.
“It was 6 votes,” Pelosi told ABC News, referring to the final outcome of the race showing Miller-Meeks topping Hart by 6 votes out of nearly 395,000 cast — easily the closest House race in the country and one of the closest in history anywhere.
Following two complete counts and certification of Miller-Meeks as the winner by Hawkeye State authorities, the conservative-Republican physician was sworn into Congress on January 3rd.
Undeterred, Hart filed suit with the House Administration Committee for an investigation into the race and possibly a third count of the ballots.
What particularly irks Hawkeye State Republicans is that, rather than take her case to the Iowa courts to address disputed ballots, Hart instead went directly to Congress — in Miller-Meeks’ words, “to get the results that [Democrats] need, not what the voters wanted, the votes that they need.”
Pelosi defended the process of going to the committee, saying Sunday that the Democratic-controlled panel would “take the process to the next step and see where it goes from there.”
She added that tight contests such as that in Iowa-2 are “not unique. This has happened, maybe when you were in the Capitol before when races had been close [with]one side or the others saying let’s take it to the House.”
The last time the outcome of the race was “on the House” was in 1985, when the late Republican Rick McIntyre had a certificate of election from the state of Indiana for winning the 8th District but was not permitted to be sworn in as its new congressman.
Instead, a panel of the Administration Committee chaired by then-Rep. Leon Panetta, D-Calif., oversaw a recount of its own and found that Democrat Frank McCloskey defeated McIntyre by four votes. On a party line vote, the full House voted to seat McCloskey — resulting in an angry Republican walkout in what many historians believe was the genesis of the modern Congress in which the parties are bitterly divided.
Prior to that, the Democrat-controlled House in 1961 would not seat Republican George Chamberlain. He had led in the final count in Indiana’s 4th District and had a certification of election. But following a new count ordered by lawmakers, Democratic Rep. J. Edward Roush was ruled the winner and seated by the House.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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