McHenry Statement on Electoral College Vote
Washington, January 6, 2021
Today, Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) released the following statement on the Joint Session of Congress to count electoral votes for the President and Vice-President of the United States:
and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the
votes shall then be counted; — The person having the greatest
number of votes for President, shall be the President...'
“Then we have the 1887 law, as amended in 1948, that dictates the congressional process to open and count the ballots (text of the law and Congressional Research Service explainer), and the U.S. House of Representatives Parliamentarian’s reading of the Constitution, law, and precedent, which reads:
'A controversy in any State over the appointment of Presidential
electors settled in accordance with a law of that State six days
before the time for the meeting of the electors shall not be a cause
of question in the counting of the electoral vote by Congress.'
“In short, Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, the Twelfth amendment, and the 1887 Electoral Count Act, as amended, all make clear Congress has a limited role when it comes to counting the electoral votes submitted by each state. Under the Constitution, the House must certify the electors submitted by the states, unless there are competing slates of electors, which is not the case today. At no other time in our history have we rejected a full slate of electors without an alternative also being legally presented.
“Beyond the fact that voting against certification of legally submitted electors would violate the oath I took to our Constitution; I also have serious concerns about the precedent these actions could set were they to succeed.
“I also worry about the long-term consequences these actions could have on the Electoral College, which the left has been seeking to eliminate for years. They know its elimination would empower the voters in corrupt and mismanaged blue states like California, Illinois, and New York to be decisive in electing our President. I have no doubt that activists on the left will use Congress’ votes against legally submitted electors as further evidence for why the Electoral College must be eliminated. As evidenced by the fact Republicans have won the popular vote only once in the last 32 years, few actions could do more to ensure Democrat Presidents than eliminating the Electoral College.
“While I am proud to have supported President Trump’s agenda and am honored to have worked with him as he accomplished so much, I cannot violate the oath I took. It is my duty to uphold my Constitutional responsibilities.”