CLEVELAND (WJW)– Members of Congress from Ohio will join their counterparts from across the country on Wednesday in deciding whether to approve the results from each state in the Electoral College.
While both Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman plan to approve President-elect Joe Biden‘s victory over President Donald Trump, the representatives are much more divided. Several Republican members of Congress said they plan to object to the results, citing baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.
Here is what their offices had to say about the vote:
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D):
“Let’s be clear: the election is over and the Biden-Harris ticket won. President Trump’s lawsuits and phone call pressuring Georgia election officials to overturn the will of the American people and ‘find votes’ are the last desperate acts of a presidency that voters rejected in record numbers last November. It’s unconscionable that Republican lawmakers are actively threatening the integrity of our election process by dealing in unfounded conspiracies and refusing – yet again – to stand up to the President. It’s clear to Democrats and Republicans alike that President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris won this election and I look forward to voting to certify the results of the election on Wednesday.”
Sen. Rob Portman (R):
“The Constitution created a system for electing the President through the Electoral College that ensures the people and the states hold the power, not Congress. I cannot support allowing Congress to thwart the will of the voters.
Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH 3):
“She will be voting in support of certification because voting otherwise is cowing to Trump’s demands and accepting far-flung conspiracy theories from the darkest corners of the internet that have no basis in reality as fact.”
Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH 7):
“The right to vote and be heard, to have a voice in our government is one of the most important pillars of our democracy. I believe fraudulent actions and illegal voting in one state dilutes the power and voice of voters in all states. I do not believe the allegations of fraud and improprieties have gotten their day in court, as many cases were dismissed on procedural grounds, often times citing lack of standing. If the American people could not hear the evidence in court, it is incumbent upon Congress to provide that venue.
“The Constitution gives state legislatures the authority and power to set elections, and I believe state judiciaries and state executive offices overstepped their authority in a handful of states. Based on my reading of federal code, Congress has the authority to deem whether electors were appointed in accordance with state election law.
“It is for these reasons I will be objecting to the certification of the Electoral College for certain states on January 6th. It is not a decision I make lightly but I believe is necessary to ensure the validity of our elections.”
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH 16):
“Article II and the 12th Amendment of the Constitution make it abundantly clear that the Congress plays a limited role in the certification of the Electoral College vote – only to intercede should there not be a majority winner of electoral votes. Furthermore, the Electoral Count Act of 1887, while subject to many questions of its own, declares that certified results received from the State shall be regarded as ‘conclusive.’ With respect to the 2020 election, certified results have been provided by contested states, including from states governed by Republican Governors, and no alternative slate of electors have been provided by any of the contested states. It is based on these facts that I am compelled to oppose any objection to the Electoral College on January 6th.
“As my friend and colleague Sen. Tom Cotton (AR) articulated in his comments on our founders and the role they foresaw Congress playing in presidential elections, ‘They entrusted the election of our president to the people, acting through the Electoral College—not Congress. And they entrusted the adjudication of election disputes to the courts—not Congress. Under the Constitution and federal law, Congress’s power is limited to counting electoral votes submitted by the states.'”
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH 9):
“Rep. Kaptur will vote to certify the election results.”
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH 13):
“President Trump and Congressional Republicans’ efforts to undermine and overturn the results of a free and fair election is an attack on the most fundamental pillars of our democracy that have made our nation what it is over the last 200 years. But make no mistake, while these cynical actions will continue to make headlines, they will not change the results of the election. The will of the people has been heard and on January 20th, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the next President of the United States.”
Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH 6)
“On Wednesday, I will support objections to the certification of the Electoral College vote of Pennsylvania, and possibly other states on grounds that they: potentially violated the U.S. Constitution; disregarded their own state election laws; and/or failed to count all legal ballots. The Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media hide behind bullying, spin, and carefully crafted talking points to distract from this fact. But most of the people I represent know the truth – that between the news media acting as the public relations department of the Democrat party, Big Tech’s big thumb on the social media and search results scales, and credible allegations of election fraud in some states, many believe the 2020 election wasn’t fair.
In 2005, former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker co-chaired a bipartisan commission on election reform. Their official report stated that mail-in voting “remains the largest source of potential voter fraud.” Given that 2020 saw more mail-in voting than anytime in American history, it’s no surprise that there are hundreds of sworn affidavits that point to instances of potential fraud and election irregularities. While some courts have reviewed these allegations, many dismissed them on a partisan basis. The most egregious of these was in Pennsylvania – led by a liberal Democrat governor, a liberal Democrat Attorney General and liberal Democrats on the state supreme court. Despite the fact that Article VII Section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution does not permit mass mail-in voting, Pennsylvania officials allowed it anyway.
I don’t expect that this effort to scrutinize the parts of our election system that have the greatest potential for fraud – and the least amount of voter trust – will change the ultimate outcome of the 2020 presidential election. But I was elected to do the right thing for our Constitution and for our nation. Simply rubber stamping these slipshod and partisan-laced electoral outcomes is wrong.
I’m not interested in hearing lectures from Democrats after they’ve objected to the certification of every Republican presidential win this century. Following the 2016 election, multiple House Democrats attempted to object to the electoral votes from several states. There was even a concerted effort to persuade individual electors to switch sides. The left and their cheerleaders in the mainstream national media lauded this effort. Democrats did the same after the 2000 and 2004 elections, with a senator joining the effort in the 2004 instance.
So, the Democrats and their media allies are lying when they say this week’s electoral vote challenge is unprecedented, or that it undermines our democracy. By definition, no one who is following constitutional procedures and federal law can be credibly described as undermining democracy. Politicians who advocate for the tearing down of historical statues, attempt to abolish the police, and allow violent criminals to victimize law-abiding Americans unchecked — these are the people who are undermining democracy. I am also not swayed by the cries of “undermining democracy” from the same people who spent the last four-plus years actively sabotaging and undermining a duly-elected president with false allegations and unprecedented media bias.
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Which is why I can say that, in 2005, even Nancy Pelosi was right when she made this statement on the floor of the U.S. House as George W. Bush’s victory was being challenged through the same process that will play out in Congress this week:
“Today we are witnessing democracy at work. This isn’t as some of our Republican colleagues have referred to it, sadly, as frivolous. This debate is fundamental to our democracy. The representatives of the American people in this house are standing up for three fundamental American beliefs: The right to vote is sacred; that a representative has a duty to represent his or her constituents; and that the rule of law is the hallmark of our nation.” –Nancy Pelosi, January 6, 2005.
I do not take this action lightly, and I take no comfort in it. And, despite some of the liberal news media spin, very few people want to overthrow the results of a legitimate presidential election. But a majority of Americans – including me – want to ensure the integrity of future presidential elections. The Constitution gives Congress a role to play in this regard and I intend to do my constitutional duty.”
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