Republican Rep. Ken Buck says Congress can’t overturn the election

Republican U.S. Rep. Ken Buck on Sunday criticized an attempt by many in his political party to overturn the results of the presidential election, calling it an unconstitutional power grab by Congress to the detriment of states and voters.

“We must respect the states’ authority here. Though doing so may frustrate our immediate political objectives, we have sworn an oath to promote the Constitution above our policy goals. We must count the electoral votes submitted by the states,” Buck wrote in a lengthy statement with six other Republicans in Congress.

The Windsor Republican, who also chairs the Colorado Republican Party, criticized elections in several swing states, but said that because those states have not sent Congress an alternative slate of Electoral College votes, Congress has no power to overturn the election. President-elect Joe Biden won the Electoral College.

“Of the six states as to which questions have been raised, five have legislatures that are controlled by Republicans, and they all have the power to send a new slate of electoral votes to Congress if they deem such action appropriate under state law. Unless that happens between now and January 6, 2021, Congress will have no authority to influence the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.”

Congress is expected to vote Wednesday to certify the Electoral College results over the objections of at least a dozen senators and many House Republicans, including Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Rifle Republican sworn into office Sunday.

Boebert has said that Wednesday may be “the most important day in our nation’s history” and has urged her supporters to maintain faith in President Donald Trump‘s ability to remain in office despite losing the election. On Saturday night, she tweeted, “Great words with President Trump tonight. Get ready, y’all!”

Buck has drawn the ire of some Trump supporters in Colorado by speaking out in defense of the security and integrity of Colorado’s elections. On Sunday, he was unequivocal in his belief that Congress cannot overturn the presidential election.

“To take action otherwise — that is, to unconstitutionally insert Congress into the center of the presidential election process — would amount to stealing power from the people and the states,” the congressman and six of his colleagues wrote.

The seven also made a practical case to Republicans, noting GOP presidential candidates have only won the national popular vote once in the past 32 years, and so have relied on the Electoral College to win presidential elections.

“If we perpetuate the notion that Congress may disregard certified electoral votes — based solely on its own assessment that one or more states mishandled the presidential election — we will be delegitimizing the very system that led Donald Trump to victory in 2016, and that could provide the only path to victory in 2024.”

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