Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York’s 21st District was among the more than 100 House representatives who challenged some Electoral College ballots late Wednesday even after the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol. While in Dannemora, New York on Saturday for a rally to keep the Clinton Correctional Facility’s Annex open, Stefanik spoke about the incident in Washington and her vote with reporters.
When the U.S. House reconvened to continue the certification of the Electoral College vote, Republican Elise Stefanik continued her challenge of Arizona’s ballots. Challenges to three other states were dropped after the storming of the Capitol building. In Dannemora, Stefanik said she continues to support the president and defended her actions. “I also stand by my objections which focused on the Constitutional issues in certain states where I felt and many millions of Americans feel that the Constitution was usurped because unelected officials did not follow state election law. Those objections are valid and they should be discussed in a peaceful manner and they were discussed. President-elect Biden was certified but that debate was important for the American people to hear. But when it comes to the violence we of course should come together to condemn those violent acts and those individuals will be prosecuted.”
Stefanik acknowledged that some of her constituents are outraged she challenged the election. “They have the right to those opinions. They also have the constitutional right to speak out. The vast majority of my constituents that I’ve heard from support looking into election security and election integrity. Moving forward we need to have a bi-partisan commission to make sure that we’re strengthening our election integrity, strengthening our election security.”
Stefanik, who was a member of President Trump’s defense team during his first impeachment, opposes the move to impeach Trump a second time. “I oppose the Democrats’ very political push to impeach the President. There will be an inauguration and a peaceful transfer of power on January 20th and I think it’s important to note that in 1989, 2001, 2005, 2017 Democrats filed objections to every Republican president.”
Bradley: “I checked the Congressional Research Office and according to their historical records only twice have there been Congressional challenges to any president.”
Stefanik: “What you’re referring to is when both a House member and a Senate. But it is a fact that Democrat House members have objected to Republican presidents.”
Bradley: “But you’re trying to conflate it to times when it’s not been able to move forward because it’s only been a single chamber.”
Stefanik: “What I have said Pat is that in every example of a Republican president in my lifetime Democratic House members have filed objections. You are correct that in 2005 and and this year Senators have stood up.”
Stefanik also escalated her war of words with Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who criticized House members over the election vote and state and local aid. “He is an ineffective Governor. He has showed failed leadership.”
Bradley: “Other groups like Common Cause are also calling for your resignation. How do you respond to them?”
Stefanik: “I just went through an election in November. I earned the highest number of votes of any Congressional candidate in the history of the North Country. I’m going to continue working my very hardest on behalf of this district.”
Stefanik said she is indignant over social media companies’ banning President Trump from their platforms. “They’re un-American. They’re unconstitutional. Big tech is going to be held accountable for their unconstitutional acts. There’s going to be Congressional hearings. Republicans and frankly Conservatives across America are very concerned that we need to have to have anti-trust cases against these companies. They shouldn’t be able to decide what American’s voices are valid and what aren’t. As I was walking in here Pat one of the first issues a voter brought up to me was I am very concerned that my voice will be silenced because I have Conservative viewpoints. And that is not constitutional. So I’m very concerned. I think it was a very very bad and un-American decision by Twitter, Instagram and those tech companies to ban not only realDonaldTrump’s Twitter account but the President of the United State’s Twitter account.”
According to the Congressional Research Service, since 1887 a joint session to debate Electoral Votes was held in 1969 and in 2005.