Davis Delivers Remarks as Committee Officially Dismisses Election Contest Against Miller-Meeks

Apr 28, 2021
Press Release

Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today delivered these remarks as the committee officially dismisses the federal contest against Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02):

Thank you, Chairperson Lofgren. 

I appreciate you for working with us to iron out today’s details. I’m glad that both sides were able to reach an agreement on the outstanding administrative issues before us as we continue our work on behalf of the American people. 

While I believe there’s a proper use of the Federal Contested Elections Act, this committee needs to be very cautious in how it uses this statute for two major reasons:  

The first, is the United States Constitution. It gives states the primary ability to conduct elections. Using the FCEA to override state law simply because you didn’t get the results you wanted is an abuse of power. 

The second, is it’s costly for the taxpayers. When this committee decides to act on this statute, many attorneys get involved and it’s our constituents that are paying for it. 

Again, as I stated before, there are instances where the FCEA is warranted, but it’s a process that should not just be used when you don’t like the outcome of an election. 

While I’m glad the Chair has called this meeting today, I wish we would have moved earlier and on our own, to dismiss the contest filed against Congresswoman Miller-Meeks because this case was undoubtedly costly for taxpayers. 

It’s a case that should have gone through the courts, not Congress, if there were disputes. 

But Rita Hart and her attorney, Marc Elias, knew the only way they could be successful was going through a partisan process in the House. 

It turns out public opinion didn’t agree with that… 

And for good reason… 

Congresswoman Miller-Meeks has an election certificate from the State of Iowa – the same election certificate granted to other member of Congress. 

She was determined the winner of Iowa’s 2nd District by a bipartisan, thorough process.  

Bipartisan recount boards in all 24 counties — including a member from each campaign and their agreed upon third member — conducted the recount. Following the recount, Iowa’s bipartisan State Canvassing Board voted unanimously to declare Congresswoman Miller-Meeks and grant her an election certificate by the State of Iowa. 

She won fair and square. 

I’m only sorry Congresswoman Miller-Meeks had to spend the first part of her freshman year, which is difficult enough trying to set up your office, hire staff, reach out to your constituents, etc. with this hanging over her head. 

The FCEA serves a purpose, but it should be used sparingly.  

I’m hopeful we can be more judicious in determining what is worthy of this committee’s time, and taxpayers’ dollars, in the future. 

I believe our time would be better spent if we used it to exercise our oversight role with the election process, instead of working to nationalize our elections, either with federal election contests or H.R. 1.  

If we focused on that, I’m certain we could find common ground and make this committee work for our constituents. 

With that I thank the Chairperson for calling this business meeting today and I’ll yield back the balance of my time. 

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117th Congress