Washington, D.C. – Tonight, Congresswoman Stefanik spoke on the House Floor to condemn the violence that took place on the United States Capitol grounds today, and object to certain electors during the Joint Session of Congress to Count Electoral Ballots. The transcript of Congresswoman Stefanik’s speech is below, and you can watch it here.
“Madam Speaker, I rise with a heavy heart.
This has been a truly tragic day for America. And we all join together in fully condemning the dangerous violence and destruction that occurred today in our Nation’s Capitol.
Americans will always have the freedom of speech and the Constitutional right to protest, but violence in any form is absolutely unacceptable, it is anti-American, and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Thank you to the heroic United States Capitol Police. And thank you to the bipartisan professional staff of the United States Capitol for protecting the People’s House and the American people.
This hallowed temple of democracy is where generations of Americans have peacefully come together to face our nation’s greatest challenges, bridge our deepest fissures, and create a more perfect system of government. This is the appropriate place we stand to respectfully and peacefully give voice to the people we represent across our diverse country.
“The Representatives of the American people in this House are standing up for three fundamental American beliefs: the right to vote is sacred, that a representative has a duty to represent his or her constituents, and that the rule of law is a hallmark of our nation."
And in the spirit of healing, those are not my words, those are the words of you, Madam Speaker. From this very same Chamber, when some of my colleagues and friends across the aisle objected to the 2005 electoral college certification.
In fact, there were objections on this Floor to the certification of nearly every Republican President in my lifetime – in 1989, in 2001, in 2005, and in 2017.
So history is our guide that the People’s sacred House is the appropriate venue for a peaceful debate. And this peaceful debate serves as a powerful condemnation of the violence that perpetrated our Capitol Grounds today. The violence that was truly un-American.
Today’s discussion is about the Constitution. And it is about the American people. But it must also be about clearly and resolutely condemning the violence that occurred today.
I am honored each and every day to represent New York's 21st Congressional District, and I believe it is my solemn and sacred duty to serve as their voice and their vote in the People’s House.
Tens of millions of Americans are concerned that the 2020 election featured unconstitutional overreach by unelected state officials and judges ignoring state election laws. We can and we should peacefully and respectfully discuss these concerns.
In Pennsylvania, the State Supreme Court and Secretary of State unilaterally and unconstitutionally rewrote election law eliminating signature matching requirements.
In Georgia, there was unconstitutional overreach when the Secretary of State unilaterally and unconstitutionally gutted signature matching for absentee ballots and ,in essence, eliminated voter verification required by state election law.
In Wisconsin, officials issued illegal rules to circumvent a state law – passed by the legislature as the Constitution requires – that required absentee voters to provide photo identification before obtaining a ballot.
And in Michigan, signed affidavits document numerous unconstitutional irregularities — officials physically blocking the legal right of poll watchers to observe vote counts, the illegal counting of late ballots, and hand stamping ballots with the previous day’s date.
My North Country constituents and the American people cherish the Constitution. And they know that according to the Constitution, elected officials closest to the people in state legislatures have the power of the pen to write election law, not unelected bureaucrats, judges, Governors, or Secretaries of State.
To the tens of thousands of constituents who have reached out to me, thank you. Please know that I'm listening and I hear you. Both those who agree and those who disagree.
Our Constitutional Republic will endure this tragic day because the Founding Fathers understood Congress and the American people would face unprecedented and historic challenges by debating them on this very Floor.
I believe that the most precious foundation and the covenant of our Republic is the right to vote, and the faith in the sanctity of our nation's free and fair elections.
And we must work together in this House to reform our elections and rebuild that faith, so that our elections are free, fair, secure, and safe, and most importantly, that they are according to the United States Constitution.”