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Iowa GOP is raising money off lie that Pelosi tried to 'steal' House seat

Iowa Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks was sworn in after she won a House seat by six votes.

By Josh Israel - August 24, 2021
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Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi, Peter DeFazio

Iowa Republican lawmakers are using a recycled lie to raise funds for the reelection campaign of Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks: that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi somehow tried to steal her seat.

“When Nancy Pelosi tried to steal #IA02 to pad her small majority, I stood up and fought back!” Miller-Meeks tweeted on Tuesday, along with a link to her online fundraising page.

“When Democrats tried to steal her seat last election, @millermeeks fought back,” echoed Sen. Joni Ernst minutes later, sharing the same link.

And not long after that, Rep. Ashley Hinson shared the link as well, along with praise for Miller-Meeks for having “fought Speaker Pelosi’s attempt to steal #IA02.”

Republicans have been making this bogus claim for a long time, despite the fact that Miller-Meeks was sworn in in January and has been serving ever since.

In November, Miller-Meeks won Iowa’s open 2nd Congressional District, by a margin of just six votes out of more than 413,000 votes cast, over Democrat Rita Hart.

Hart filed a challenge to the results with the House in December, arguing that 22 ballots were improperly excluded from the final count and that county election officials had omitted thousands of lawful votes during a recount.

Still, the House agreed to seat Miller-Meeks provisionally on Jan. 3, allowing her to serve unless and until Hart could prove her case.

Hart’s challenge was referred to the Committee on House Administration for an investigation.

Under the Constitution, the House may judge the “elections and returns” of its members.  A Politico report in March noted that 110 similar contests had been considered by the body in the preceding 90 years and three cases in which the results were later overturned.

House Administration Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren said at the time that her committee would investigate with open minds and that the burden of proof was on Hart to prove she had legitimately won the race.

Rather than wait for the investigation, Republican lawmakers baselessly claimed this was an attempt to steal the seat for the Democrats. “This is Nancy Pelosi’s plan,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted on March 23. “Ignore the voters. Bypass the courts. Steal the seat.”

But the majority party did nothing of the kind. On April 1, Hart withdrew her challenge and wished Miller-Meeks “all the best as she serves the people of this great state as a congressman.”

At the time, Miller-Meeks thanked Hart, saying, “I know how extremely difficult it is to lose an election, but for the people to have faith and confidence in the election system and Iowa laws, it was gracious of her to concede at this time.”

Now, more than four months later, Miller-Meeks and her supporters are back to suggesting the Democrats did something wrong — even though Miller-Meeks has served every day of her term.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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