Washington, DC – Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (IL-13) today warned that the House overturning Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District would set a terrible precedent after the Democrat candidate chose not to exhaust all of her legal options within the State of Iowa. Davis urged his colleagues not to repeat the federal contest in 1985 where Democrats used a partisan process to overturn Indiana’s 8th Congressional District.
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Rodney Davis On Overturning Iowa's 2nd Congressional District
Text of Davis's remarks on the House floor:
In 1985, Democrats in this House stole a seat and they could do it again.
The day after the election in 1984, Republican Richard McIntyre was ahead of incumbent Democrat Frank McCloskey by 34 votes and after the state’s recount, McIntyre’s lead grew to 418 votes. In the weeks following the election, McIntyre was certified the winner of Indiana’s 8th Congressional District.
But come January 1985, House Democrats refused to seat McIntyre.
Instead, they sent a partisan task force to Indiana, which then determined ballots, not valid under Indiana law, should have been counted.
They changed the rules.
Under the Democrats’ new rules, McCloskey was now ahead by 4 votes.
On May 1, 1985, the House voted to seat McCloskey. Ten Democrats joined every Republican in voting against seating him.
This contest was dubbed the “Bloody Eighth” and my Democrat colleagues are considering repeating this same battle in Iowa’s 2nd District today.
Just as in 1985, they’re about to change the rules of the game after the game has already been played. Democrats have been trying to do this in states throughout the 2020 cycle.
After a thorough recount of votes in all 24 counties in Iowa’s 2nd District and a unanimous, bipartisan vote by Iowa’s State Canvassing Board, Rep.-elect Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks was declared the winner.
Instead of challenging the certification in court, the Democrat candidate has decided to skip that step and instead, is going to ask Washington Democrats to overturn Iowa voters.
And the reason is…because she couldn’t win in court, but if Washington Democrats change the rules, she can – she can disregard the people of Iowa.
Setting this precedent that you don’t have to exhaust all of your options and prove your case in court, but that whatever party is in charge of the House can come in, change the rules, and determine the winner, is a terrible one to set.
I’m hoping my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will think long and hard if they want a repeat of the “Bloody Eighth” because there will come a time when the shoe is on the other foot.
The federal contest of 1985 eroded public trust in our elections and undermined the integrity of our election process.
I hope my colleagues will come to the same conclusion and decide to stand by the people of Iowa’s 2nd District and seat Rep-elect Miller-Meeks on January 3rd.