Pelosi Says House is Prepared to Decide Presidential Election If Results are Disputed

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Jami Raskin speak during a Capitol Hill news conference in Washington, D.C., October 9, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that Congress is prepared to play a “prominent role” in deciding the presidential election in the event that results are disputed. 

“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,” Pelosi said in an interview with NPR. 

If the presidential election does not determine a clear winner by electoral vote, then it falls to the House to choose the next president.

“We’re ready. We’re prepared. 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 said.

According to Axios, the president has told confidants he plans to declare victory if he appears to be “ahead.” However, Trump has denied that he would prematurely claim victory.

Should the election end in a tie in the Electoral College, an unlikely but possible scenario, the “newly seated House of Representatives” would hold a vote to name the victor, according to the New York Times

The House vote could be “brutal,” according to Politico, and could fall to which party controls the most state delegations. While Republicans have 26 and Democrats have 22, that could change after the election, according to the Times. 

“But let’s not worry about that right now,” Pelosi told NPR. “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.”

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