Where are the fact-checkers protecting us from fake news and misinformation? Nancy Pelosi has made an outrageous claim, asserting an authority that she doesn’t have, to pick and choose who gets seated in the House.
In 2020, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks narrowly defeated Democrat candidate Rita Hart in November by six votes in an election where over 400,000 ballots were cast. Her victory was certified by the state, and she was provisionally seated by Congress. But the Democrats’ razor-thin majority in the House has Nancy Pelosi trying desperately to pad her majority any way she can, even if that means stealing an election from the duly elected Republican, Miller-Meeks.
On Thursday, Pelosi, justifying her efforts, said, “If I wanted to be unfair, I wouldn’t have seated the Republican from Iowa, because that was my right on the opening day. I would have just said, ‘You’re not seated,’ and that would have been my right, as Speaker, to do.”
PELOSI: It is my right to seat and unseat any member of Congress I wantpic.twitter.com/habrc0k7cP
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 25, 2021
But Pelosi’s interpretation of her powers as Speaker of the House is just as bad as those who believed that Vice President Pence had the power to pick and choose which electors from each state would be counted. As political science professor and Townhall contributor Eddie Zipperer noted, Pelosi “needs to read the SCOTUS interpretation of the clause she’s referring to in Powell v McCormack. SCOTUS says a seat cannot be denied to a duly elected Rep who meets the constitutional qualifications.”
The case in question here, Powell v. McCormack, involves Rep. Adam Clayton Powell (D-N.Y.), a member of Congress who was excluded by Congress in 1967 following allegations of corruption. Powell was reelected by constituents and regained his seat after the Supreme Court ruled his favor that Congress did not have the power to exclude him because he was duly elected and satisfied the requirements of Article I Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.
Article I Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution does state that “Each house shall be the judge of the … qualifications of its own members,” but explains that a two-thirds majority vote is required to expel a member.
Under the Federal Contested Elections Act, the House Administration Committee “may recommend, and the House may approve by a simple majority vote, a decision affirming the right of the contestee to the seat, may seat the contestant, or find that neither party is entitled to be finally seated and declare a vacancy.” But, the Speaker of the House has no authority to unilaterally seat or unseat a duly elected member of Congress, as Pelosi suggested.
So, where are the fact-checkers? Neither Snopes, Politifact, or Lead Stories have fact-checked Pelosi’s absurd claim. Videos shared to Facebook of Pelosi making this claim have not been flagged as false either.
Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter, Gab, Facebook, MeWe, Heroes, Rumble, and CloutHub.