Republican lawmakers reject Trump’s suggestion to delay elections

Updated 01 Aug 2020

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Trump had suggested that elections be delayed in a tweet on Thursday. — Reuters/File
Trump had suggested that elections be delayed in a tweet on Thursday. — Reuters/File

WASHINGTON: Almost all prominent Republican lawmakers on Friday rejected President Donald Trump’s suggestion that November’s presidential election should be delayed, reminding their leader that he did not have the authority to do so.

The lawmakers also reminded the Republican president that the US Constitution gives Congress the power to set the date for voting, not to the president.

“I don’t think that’s a particularly good idea,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, who is also a close Trump ally, told CNN when asked to comment on Mr Trump’s suggestion.

“I think that’s probably a statement that gets some press attention, but I doubt it gets any serious traction,” said Senate Majority Whip John Thune, a member of the central Republican leadership.

“I think we’ve had elections every November since about 1788, and I expect that will be the case again this year,” he told CNN.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also a Republican, insisted that the election will go on as planned.

“Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions, and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally-scheduled election on time. We’ll find a way to do that again this November 3rd,” he said in an interview with WNKY TV.

President Trump wrote in a tweet on Thursday: “With Universal Mail-In Voting, 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger responded to Trump’s idea in a tweet, saying: “Reminder: Election dates are set by Congress. And I will oppose any attempts to delay the 2020 Election.”

“We should go forward with our election” as scheduled, said House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, “no way should we ever not hold our election on the day that we have it.”

Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2020