Boozman, Hoeven, Cramer won’t object to Electoral College vote
Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., who is expected to be the chairman or ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee in this Congress, Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., all said today they will not object to the Electoral College count on the presidential election scheduled Wednesday.
About a dozen Republican senators have said they will object to the vote.
In a statement, Boozman said, “Many Americans are concerned about the integrity of the election. I, too, share the belief that allegations of irregularities and fraud need to be investigated –– especially at a time when trust in our institutions is near an all-time low. We need to make sure that every legal vote cast is counted, and we must have the ability to verify the ballots.
“Congress has a role in examining the concerns that have arisen and should support states’ efforts to address the security of our elections. The Senate will continue to focus attention on this issue moving forward, and I am very supportive of efforts to establish a commission to probe the 2020 presidential election and ensure that all Americans have faith in future elections.
“However, under the Constitution, Congress does not have the legal authority to change the outcome of the presidential election. These principles are enshrined in the Constitution to ensure the American people, not the party in control of Congress, have the power to choose their president.
“Conservatives have long opposed federalizing our elections, and the Constitution is clear that the authority to conduct them is granted to the states.”
Hoeven said, “Like the majority of North Dakotans, I support President Trump and have worked with the president to advance policies important for North Dakota and our nation. After the recent election, however, many North Dakotans and Americans remain concerned about irregularities in the presidential election, particularly in regard to mail-in voting. That’s why I support establishing a committee to examine the election and will work with other members of Congress on both oversight hearings and to make necessary reforms.
“Under the Constitution, states are responsible for our elections, and the people, through the Electoral College, elect the president. Each state certifies its electoral vote, not Congress. The people of North Dakota do not want Congress to determine their vote, and we should not set the precedent by doing it for other states. Therefore, I do not plan to object. Additionally, the courts, not Congress, are responsible for resolving any electoral disputes, and any irregularities should be adjudicated through the courts. This is what the Constitution outlines and that is how we should proceed.”
Cramer said, “While I share the concerns of those who plan to object, the Founding Fathers did not design a system where the federal legislative branch could reject a state’s certified choice for president in favor of their own. They created the Electoral College – and gave state legislatures the authority to decide how electors are chosen – to ensure small states like North Dakota have a voice at the national level that cannot be silenced by large states like New York and California, and the opposite is also true. I do not have the authority to overturn the will of other states on behalf of North Dakota, nor do other members have the ability to overturn the will of my state. As has been true since the election was held, the viable option for the president to obtain the remedy he seeks is through the federal judiciary.
“In light of these concerns, I will not object to the Electoral College votes when they are counted, and – unless overwhelmingly persuasive evidence is presented before the Senate when we debate the objections – I will not vote to reject the results.”
On MSNBC, Cramer added that making the decision “was brutal, to be honest. But at the end of the day, there are two things. One is my conscience is captive to God, and my oath is to the Constitution of the United States.”
“I’ve put a lot of intellectual rigor and emotion into this decision, so it doesn’t come easily. But I also have to say I’m quite comfortable with it.”
–The Hagstrom Report
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In response to the severe drought conditions in the West and Great Plains, the Agriculture Department this week announced that plans to help cover the cost of transporting feed for livestock that rely on grazing.