Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the outgoing and incoming chairmen of the House Republican Study Committee encouraged President Donald Trump to keep exposing evidence of widespread fraudulent voting in the Nov. 3 election.
“I’m a constitutional lawyer, and I’ve spoken with the president about this over the last couple of weeks, encouraging him to exhaust all the legal remedies, because it is so critically important,” Johnson said in response to a question from American Enterprise Institute President Robert Doar.
The Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest caucus of conservative Republicans in Congress, was founded in 1973 and has since been a leading congressional policymaking voice on behalf of limited government, strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values. Vice President Mike Pence is a former RSC chairman.
“The distinction between this election and all previous ones is you didn’t have this level of fraud alleged in so many places at one time,” Johnson said.
“I am literally getting text messages right now while we’re talking, constituents, on the phone about this subject, saying, ‘Stand with the president, make sure the election is fair,’” Johnson said. He said he’s unsure what the outcome of Trump’s legal efforts will be.
Banks said that “when Nancy Pelosi took the Speaker’s gavel and Democrats took the majority in January 2019, they symbolically introduced their very first bill, H.R.1. That meant this was their top priority piece of legislation.
“This was long before COVID, long before the pandemic. H.R.1 was a piece of legislation that would nationalize elections and push all states toward mail-in ballots. This was their strategy two years ago.”
Working through state governments controlled by Democrats, the House majority expanded mail-in voting “to their advantage,” Banks said, creating the current, growing controversy about electoral fraud.
“There are things that we should do; we should look at ways we can create standards for mail-in ballots, if not altogether eliminate them to preserve the integrity and security of elections,” Banks said.
“There are sensible pieces of legislation that we can advocate for that would return election integrity and security … and I want the RSC to be in the middle of that debate,” he said.
On other issues, Banks said, “the first thing we need to do is make the Trump individual tax cuts permanent. If Republicans really are the party of the working class and for working people, then we should have done that in the beginning.”
He was referring to corporate and individual tax cuts approved by Congress and signed into law by Trump in December 2017. The measure included a 10-year sunset provision for the individual reductions, but the corporate cuts were made permanent.
Banks said, however, that “the next four years, we will likely be fighting the progressive left that wants to repeal the Trump tax cuts altogether, and that’s a fight the RSC will be in the middle of.”
On foreign policy issues, the incoming RSC chairman said that “for the conservative movement, holding China accountable needs to be a pinnacle piece of who we are to build the winning coalition that President Trump taught us that we need to build to win majorities and the White House in 2024.”
The RSC will continue its longstanding support for a strong national defense, and Banks praised Trump’s rebuilding the U.S. military for “getting us back to where we are, so we’ve caught back up with our chief adversaries, Russia and China.”
Banks, whose northeast Indiana district greatly depends on manufacturing jobs, said he hopes the RSC can lead in solidifying what he described as “Trump populism” with traditional conservatism, especially with regard to protecting working-class jobs.
“The big area where we have to move, that’s different for the conservative movement, is in what President Trump has taught us in marrying the populist ideals of Trump with the traditional conservative issues,” he said.
“My dad is an example of the working-class voter who is not a traditional Republican, but who loves President Trump and came to the Republican Party more firmly than ever because of Trump,” Banks said.
“For Republicans to win in the future, we’ve got to keep voters like my dad in the fold,” he said. Laughing, he added that in 2016, when he and his brother won elections, “my Dad was more excited about Donald Trump winning the White House than he was either of his sons winning.”
Contact Mark Tapscott at Mark.Tapscott@epochtimes.nyc