Nancy Pelosi claims House is ‘ready’ to pick next president if decision winds up in hands of Congress
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has proclaimed that the House of Representatives is “ready” to decide who the next President of the United States will be if the 2020 election between President Trump and Joe Biden is contested. Pelosi said this in an exchange with NPR’s Ari Shapiro this week when he asked her about the scenario.
Shapiro asked Pelosi on Monday, “Let’s talk about what might happen in the election tomorrow because there are a lot of dire scenarios if the vote does not produce a decisive result. Some of those scenarios involve you as the speaker of the House. Are you confident in the resilience of American democratic systems to handle a contested election if it comes to that?”
“Our country is a great country,” the speaker replied. “We’re even great enough to survive one term of Donald Trump. Two terms would be such a serious setback that I worry for our country.”
“But what if the outcome is disputed?” Shapiro continued. “What if this is being fought in the courts or there is a constitutional crisis? I mean, there are all kinds of scenarios, and in some of them, the speaker of the House plays a prominent role.”
“And the speaker of the House is ready for that prominent role,” Pelosi said. “But let’s not worry about that right now.
“We’re ready. We’re prepared,” she went on. “We’ve been ready for a while because we see this irresponsibility of the president, his disrespect for the Constitution, for our democracy, and for the integrity of our elections. So we’re ready for him.”
Pelosi added, “What we want to be ready for is a big vote tomorrow to dispel any thought other than that, on January 20, Joe Biden will be inaugurated president of the United States, that we will have a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate.”
In a quote not included in the original interview with NPR but featured in a later article from the media outlet, Pelosi told the public radio broadcaster, “We understand what the law is and the preeminence of the role of Congress and specifically the House of Representatives when it comes to counting the votes.
This scenario is now potentially in play. The Hill reported that “should the presidential election not present a clear winner by electoral vote, then it is up to the House to choose the next president.” That statement is not agreed upon by political leaders. It is far more likely that the Supreme Court will rule on vote counting and that the presidency will be decided by the high court.
An article by 270towin.com explains that if neither Trump nor Biden is able to secure 270 electoral votes, “the election for President is decided in the House of Representatives, with each state delegation having one vote. A majority of states (26) is needed to win. Senators would elect the Vice-President, with each Senator having a vote. A majority of Senators (51) is needed to win.”
Pelosi’s remarks came amid escalating fears among Democrats that Trump might succeed in stopping mail-in ballots from being counted past November 3. They feel he has prematurely called victory in the close election against Joe Biden. The election has still not been finalized.
“That’s the way it’s been and that’s the way it should be,” President Trump told reporters in North Carolina on Sunday. “I think it’s a terrible thing when people or states are allowed to tabulate ballots for a long period of time after the election is over.”