The Lead

Eight of Pa.’s nine Republicans in the U.S. House say they will oppose certification of Pa.’s electors

By: - January 1, 2021 7:59 am

House Homeland Security Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Scott Perry makes opening remarks during a hearing on “critical canine contributions to the DHS mission’” in Washington, D.C., May 18, 2017. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Photo by Glenn Fawcett

Eight of Pennsylvania’s nine Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives have released a joint statement saying they will oppose the certification of Pennsylvania’s electors when Congress meets to count electoral votes on Jan. 6.

The lawmakers, U.S. Reps. Dan Meuser, 9th District; Scott Perry, R-10th District, Lloyd Smucker, R-11th District; Fred Keller, R-12th District; John Joyce, R-13th District; Guy Reschenthaler, R-14th District; Glen ‘GT’ Thompson, R-15th District, and Mike Kelly, R0-16th District, argued in a joint statement that Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar exceeded their authority by, among other things, allowing counties to accept mail-in ballots that were received after Election Day but were postmarked by Nov. 3.

“These unlawful actions were taken without the authority or consent of the Pennsylvania state legislature. These are facts, and they are indisputable,” the lawmakers said. “Additionally, the Pennsylvania Attorney General did nothing with regard to these unlawful activities. Not one inquiry, no questioning, and certainly no investigations. Not to mention that hundreds, if not thousands, of affidavits outlining election complaints and potential fraud were documented, submitted, and ignored. The Pennsylvania election could be summed up as a free-for-all with no oversight and different standards applied throughout the Commonwealth. It is also very apparent that the unlawful actions described were concentrated in heavily populated, Democrat-led counties.”

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican who represents the Bucks County-based 1st Congressional District, did not sign the letter.

Seven of the eight lawmakers also were among the 126 signatories an amicus brief to a lawsuit, filed by Texas’ attorney general, that sought to throw out election results in key battleground states, including Pennsylvania. State Attorney General Josh Shapiro slammed the lawsuit as “seditious abuse.”

Neither Smucker nor Fitzpatrick signed the amicus brief.

Democrat Joe Biden beat President Donald Trump by more than 80,000 votes to carry the Keystone State and its 20 electoral votes. Wolf and Boockvar have certified the results and the Electoral College awarded the state to Biden when it met in Harrisburg last month. Despite that, Trump and his allies have continued to falsely claim that the race was stolen.

There has been no proof of voter fraud. And all the lawmakers who signed the statement won re-election on Nov. 3 under the same ground rules. They have not contested the results of their own successful campaigns, nor those in the Legislature or statewide row offices that resulted in Republican victories.

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Texas suit that tried to overturn election results

Last month, Kelly, a northwestern Pennsylvania Republican, unsuccessfully petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to set aside Pennsylvania’s election results, a move that would have resulted in the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of voters statewide.

Opposition from Republicans is not expected to derail President-elect Joe Biden’s certification as the next president of the United States. However, it will delay that process when Congress meets in joint session on Jan. 6.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.