Fact check: No, Nancy Pelosi isn't trying to 'steal' a House seat


A challenge to a six-vote margin is nothing unusual.

House Republicans are baselessly accusing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of stealing an election — just months after most of them voted to overturn the election of President Joe Biden.

In recent days, several GOP lawmakers have preemptively decided that Democrats plan to side with Democrat Rita Hart, who challenged her six-vote defeat in November in Iowa's 2nd Congressional District. Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks has been provisionally serving while the Committee on House Administration investigates the case.

"Speaker Pelosi is trying to overturn the certified election results & steal this seat from Iowa voters," charged Rep. Ashley Hinson, who represents another Iowa district, on Sunday.

"@RepMMM [Miller-Meeks] is my colleague on @HomelandGOP, a military veteran, and a duly-elected member of the House of Representatives," tweeted Texas Rep. August Pfluger on Thursday. "@SpeakerPelosi is trying to steal her seat from the people of #IA02. Iowans chose MMM as their Rep. She is here to stay."

"The people of IA-02 have spoken and the results have been certified. Congresswoman Miller-Meeks was duly elected," claimed House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney on Wednesday. "Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats are trying to overturn the results of the election so they can steal this seat."

"Right before our eyes Nancy Pelosi is going to steal an election," alleged Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup that same day.

But what is actually happening is far less sinister, and not even unusual.

Hart asked in December the House to examine the results in her race after Iowa officials certified the results without counting 22 ballots she believed should have been included and would have given her a narrow victory. Under the Constitution, the House has the right to decide such disputes relating to the "elections and returns" of its members.

According to a Politico report on Monday, the House has considered more than 100 similar race contests over the past 90 years. In three instances, the results were overturned and a new winner was seated.

Committee on House Administration Chair Zoe Lofgren told the outlet that members were investigating with an open mind and that the burden of proof is on Hart to prove she was the legitimate winner.

But contrary to the GOP allegations that a pro-Hart ruling is a forgone conclusion, several members of the narrow House Democratic majority say it is highly unlikely.

"I don't think there's the slightest chance," North Carolina Rep. David Price told Fox News on Sunday.

Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips said Monday that he did not support doing so. "Losing a House election by six votes is painful for Democrats. But overturning it in the House would be even more painful for America," he tweeted. "Just because a majority can, does not mean a majority should."

Rep. Lou Correa of California told CNN on Monday that he believes these issues "are probably best left at the state level."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy complained to reporters last Thursday that the committee had not simply rejected Hart's challenge. Reminded that he — like most members of the Republican caucus — backed Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, McCarthy pretended that it had never happened.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.