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House resolution rejecting 2020 election results in other states hits roadblock

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A controversial resolution rejecting the 2020 presidential election results in other states passed a House committee Monday night — but it appears to be blocked from making it to the full floor. 

After a nearly 3-hour hearing, which included testimony from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, lawmakers voted 6-3 along party lines to advance HR 2. The measure says the lower chamber does not have “faith in the validity” of the results in six swing states (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) and asks Congress to refuse to accept the electoral votes for those states without an investigation. All six states went for President-elect Joe Biden whose win was affirmed by the Electoral College vote held in the U.S. earlier Monday. 

But, while the committee met Monday, House Rules-Legislative Oversight Committee Chairman Rocky Miller said he would not call a meeting for HR 2 — throwing a wrench into the resolution’s future. 

“The reason for most House Resolutions is to bring to light certain subjects and carry no force of law. Under normal circumstances, I welcome these to be fully discussed, if they make it to the House Floor, however, we are not in normal circumstances,” Miller said in a statement first shared with The Missouri Times. “We are in the midst of a health and financial crisis, and we should be extra diligent in our decisions.” 

“I fully believe that the additional publicity that would be gained beyond the filing and committee hearing is outweighed by the cost, both directly and indirectly, and health risk. Therefore, I hope that our confidence in our elections is regained and glad a light from Missouri has been shown on this distrust, but I will not be having a Rules Committee meeting on this resolution.” 

The resolution would need to go to the Rules Committee before it could be voted on by the full House. 

Both the resolution and Special Committee on Government Oversight hearing were contentious. Giuliani, an attorney who has represented President Donald Trump in many of the thus far unsuccessful legal challenges mounted following November’s election, appeared via Zoom to testify before the committee. Democratic lawmakers questioned whether the same option was afforded to others who wished to testify at the hearing held during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Giuliani said he had been asked by Rep. Robert Ross, the committee’s chairman, to testify and was not paid to do so. He got into heated back-and-forths with many of the Democratic members of the committee, including Rep. Peter Merideth. 

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, donning American flag socks, appeared at the hearing at the request of members on both sides of the aisle. (THE MISSOURI TIMES/KAITLYN SCHALLHORN)

During the hearing, Rep. Justin Hill, who sponsored the resolution, maintained Missourians’ votes — which were solidified for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence earlier in the day — would be invalidated if fraud occurred in other states that changed the outcome of the election. 

“This is not about one candidate or another. This is about being able to look at people and say these elections are trustworthy moving forward,” Hill said. 

Out of the more than 50 lawsuits filed by Trump or Republicans since the election, most have been denied, withdrawn, dismissed, or otherwise rejected, according to a recent analysis by NBC News

“This resolution was referred to me. I had a choice. I didn’t have to hear it. I think it’s the right thing to do because I care about election integrity,” Ross said. “This isn’t about overturning an election; this is about making sure Missourians’ votes count. … What goes on in these other states as it relates to the presidential election affects my vote and millions of Missourians and for that, that’s why I wanted to hold this hearing.” 

Following the vote, House Minority Leader Crystal Quade called HR 2 a “sham resolution.” She attended Monday’s hearing and participated in questioning as an ex officio member of the committee. 

“The only evidence of fraud at tonight’s hearing was the litany of lies and debunked conspiracies House Republicans put forth in their dishonest attempt to steal the presidential election for Donald Trump,” Quade said. 

Reps. Robert Ross, Nick Schroer, Dirk Deaton, J. Eggleston, Jered Taylor, and Rudy Veit voted for the resolution. However, Veit said he was only voting in the affirmative to send it to the full House, not because he supported the measure. Democratic state Reps. Peter Merideth, Jon Carpenter, and Wiley Price opposed the measure. 

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, donning American flag socks, appeared at the hearing at the request of members on both sides of the aisle, he said. He answered questions from lawmakers for information purposes only. 

Democrats had asked Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who threw his weight behind another state’s failed legal challenge of the election, to attend as well, but he did not. 

One of the Missouri electors who cast a ballot for Trump earlier Monday also testified at the hearing in support of the resolution. She said she wanted a “legal and honest election.”