Joni Ernst: Pelosi's 'Power Grab' in Iowa Congressional Election Foreshadows Dangers of HR1

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Posted: Mar 23, 2021 4:00 PM
Joni Ernst: Pelosi's 'Power Grab' in Iowa Congressional Election Foreshadows Dangers of HR1

Source: Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP

During Senate Republicans’ weekly press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) foreshadowed one legislative danger that would become reality if Democrats’ massive electoral power grab, HR 1, were to be signed into law. 

Ernst joined fellow Republicans in warning against the federal takeover of elections that is present within HR 1, a move that Democrats hope to pass. Arguing against the election overhaul that would ultimately erase state and local jurisdiction over elections, Ernst cited the current situation with Iowa’s second congressional district. 

Democratic candidate Rita Hart lost to Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), by a slim margin that was recounted multiple times and certified by a bipartisan panel of state elected officials. In spite of this, Hart sidestepped the judicial system and instead asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to overturn Miller-Meeks’ victory.

“Taking away the rights of the voters and the people within those states-- that’s exactly what we are experiencing in Iowa today. We have a congresswoman, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who was seated. She was duly elected and seated in Iowa’s second congressional district,” Ernst said. “Rita Hart...chose not to do what Iowa code calls for, and go through the Iowa courts to appeal the decision of the bipartisan board...Instead, went straight to Nancy Pelosi and appealed to Democrats in a political process.”

The Iowa Republican added that the current attempt by Democrats to unseat Miller-Meeks affirms the importance of keeping elections under an individual state’s jurisdiction.

“We need to keep this process where it belongs: at the state level. It needs to be at the local level. We do not need to federalize our election system," Ernst concluded.

The House Administration Committee is currently reviewing the already-certified results for Miller-Meeks' victory, and HR 1 is unlikely to move forward in the upper chamber.