Pelosi Downplays Concerns From Democrats About Reviewing Iowa House Seat Won by Republican

March 25, 2021 Updated: March 25, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) downplayed concerns from some House Democrats about reviewing the Iowa congressional race that was won by six votes.

The House Administration Committee, led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), is considering hearing Democrat Rita Hart’s challenge against Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ election victory that was certified by the state of Iowa.

Pelosi told reporters that the House has the ability to overturn contested elections and said that Democrats whose races were narrowly contested would do the same as Hart.

“I would say to them, if you lost by six votes, would you like to bring your case before that?” Pelosi asked when questioned by a reporter. “Now, if I wanted to be unfair, I wouldn’t have seated the Republican from Iowa. Because that was my right on the opening day. I would have just said, ‘You’re not seated.’ And that would have been my right as Speaker to do. But we didn’t want to do that. We just said, ‘Let’s just go through this process,'” she added.

Several moderate Democrats pushed back against the House leadership’s challenge to Miller-Meeks’ seat.

“I’m sorry, I cannot support overturning an election, especially given everything that’s gone on,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), a swing district Democrat, told the “Skullduggery” podcast. “I can’t turn around and vote to decertify something that’s been stamped and approved in Iowa.”

Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) said on March 22 that the “election result was certified by the State of Iowa, and Rep. Miller-Meeks was sworn in nearly three months ago … it’s time to move on.”

“I have said before, in connection with the 2020 presidential election, legislators should be heeding states’ certifications of their elections. Unless there is rampant error and substantial evidence thereof, I do not believe it is the role of House members to dictate the outcome of elections,” Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) told reporters this week.

Previously, Pelosi suggested that Democratic leadership was open to contesting the seat, while Lofgren told her committee that only six votes determined the race.

“The margin separating the two candidates was only six votes out of almost 400,000 cast: less than 1/6 of 1 percent. That’s six votes—not 6,000, not 600, not 60, or even 16—just six fewer votes than we have members of this committee,” Lofgren told panel members.

“It should not be surprising that any candidate in these circumstances—with a margin this close—would seek to exercise their rights under the law to contest the results.”