Top House Democrat echoes Biden in questioning legitimacy of midterm election results
H ouse Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Tuesday said he agrees with President Joe Biden’s assertion that the results of the midterm elections may not be legitimate to Democrats if they are unable to pass two election and voter overhaul measures.
“I think President Biden is correct,” the Maryland Democrat said during a virtual event with Politico .
“This is about our democracy,” Hoyer added. “This is about an America that really believes in making sure that the people's voice is heard and reflected in the outcome of the elections.”
Biden, during a White House press conference last week, would not confirm that the results of the midterm elections will be legitimate. Instead, Biden said, it depends on whether Congress is able to pass two voter and election overhaul measures authored by Democrats.
The measures would roll back voter integrity laws in 19 states that Democrats fear will limit access to the polls. The legislation would also reinstate and even broaden federal oversight of election laws and redistricting in some states.
“I’m not saying it’s going to be legit,” Biden told reporters. “The increase in the prospect of being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these reforms passed.”
Hoyer sided with Biden on Tuesday and said the two measures must pass Congress and be signed into law by Biden ahead of November “so that we are not talking about losing elections after the fact because discriminatory and anti-voting bills were passed in state legislatures.”
The measures stalled in the Senate last week after Republicans blocked them with the use of the filibuster.
Democrats failed to convince everyone in their own party to back a rule change to modify the 60-vote threshold, and now the voting legislation appears hopelessly stalled.
Hoyer's Communications Director Margaret Mulkerrin later elaborated on the leader's views on the issue.
“Leader Hoyer shares President Biden’s concern that Republican attempts to methodically exclude millions of voters are deeply alarming and raise serious questions that people who want to make their voice heard won’t be able to participate," Mulkerrin said.
"Leader Hoyer does not believe the 2022 election will be illegitimate, nor would he claim ballots ought to be thrown out if a Democrat loses — simply that millions of Americans have been systematically disenfranchised from our democracy by GOP election suppression legislation, and that we ought to take immediate steps to stop it by passing urgently needed measures to protect the right to vote,” Mulkerrin added.
Analysts have predicted that Democrats will have a tough time hanging on to the majority in the House and Senate, and that has increasingly led to chatter among party lawmakers that the impending losses will be caused by red-state voting laws that strengthen voter identification rules and tighten requirements for casting ballots.