“Well, as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, it’s about the Constitution. Article I, section 4 is very clear it says, ‘the time, manner and place for holding elections is determined in each state by the legislature there of.’ Take Pennsylvania, for example, Pennsylvania State law says election day ends at 8 o’clock on election day.
The Supreme Court in Pennsylvania says nope, we’re gonna extend it three days till 5 o’clock on Friday. State law Pennsylvania says, ‘for every absentee mail in ballot there has to be a signature verification.’ The Secretary of State Pennsylvania says. ‘nope, we’re not going to do that. We’re not going to have a (signature).’
She just unilaterally went around the law for 2.6 million mail in ballots. The state law Pennsylvania is clear it says there that mail in ballots cannot be processed until Election Day. But some counties in Pennsylvania allow ballots to be fixed, ‘cured’ before election day.
“Democrats were establishing a dangerous precedent where Congress would inappropriately assert itself to try to reverse the will of the voters.
I cannot now support Republicans doing the same thing."
- Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
Maria, take a guess which counties allowed that. Democratic counties with Democrat county commissioners and clerks allowed that to happen. Republican counties, didn’t. The Republican counties in Pennsylvania follow the law. So when the time place and manner is not adhered to, the legislature said, that is a direct violation of the Constitution, and that disenfranchises the votes in the district I get the privilege of representing in the 4th District of Ohio. That disenfranchises the people Mo represents in Alabama and countless number of people around the country.
And understand this, finally. It wasn’t us who said it. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the late justice, said this: ‘The ultimate date of significance is January 6.’ This is how the process works. The ultimate arbiter here, the ultimate check and balance is the United States Congress. And when something is done in an unconstitutional fashion, which happened in several of these states, we have a duty to step forward and have this debate and have this vote on the 6th of January.”
STATEMENT FROM PORTMAN:
“The Constitution created a system for electing the President through the Electoral College that ensures the people and the states hold the power, not Congress. I cannot support allowing Congress to thwart the will of the voters.
I voted for President Trump, campaigned for him as one of his Ohio co-chairs, and believe his policies are better for Ohio and America. Like nearly half the country, I was disappointed in the election results. Following the election, I supported the Trump campaign’s right to pursue recounts and legal challenges.
There were instances of fraud and irregularities, as there are in every presidential election, and those who engaged in that conduct should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But after two months of recounts and legal challenges, not a single state recount changed a result and, of the dozens of lawsuits filed, not one found evidence of fraud or irregularities widespread enough to change the result of the election. This was the finding of numerous Republican-appointed judges and the Trump Administration’s own Department of Justice. Every state has now weighed in and certified its electoral slate based on its vote and the process set out in the Constitution.
The process in Congress on January 6 is based on a federal law that allows Congress to consider objections to a state’s certification of its electors. If both a member of the House and a member of the Senate object to a state’s certification of electors, it requires a Congressional vote on whether to reject that state’s electors. This vote has only happened twice in the 133 years since Congress enacted this statute, and Congress has never voted to uphold a challenge. It is an extreme remedy because, counter to the Constitution, it allows Congress to substitute its judgment for the judgment of the voters, and for the judgment of the states that certified the results.
The only time this was attempted in the past 70 years was in 2005 when Democrats objected to the electors from my home state of Ohio, hoping to give the presidency to John Kerry instead of George W. Bush. I stood in opposition to Democrats then, saying Congress should not ‘obstruct the will of the American people.’ I was concerned then that Democrats were establishing a dangerous precedent where Congress would inappropriately assert itself to try to reverse the will of the voters.
I cannot now support Republicans doing the same thing. Over the course of my public service career I have taken the same oath on numerous occasions, swearing to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. I plan on honoring that oath by supporting the state certifications and the will of the people. I will vote to certify in accordance with my duty under the Constitution.”