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house Bill H. Res. 1155

Should the House of Representatives Express its Commitment to the Peaceful Transfer of Power Under the Constitution?

Argument in favor

The House of Representatives should go on record and reaffirm its commitment to the peaceful transfer of power in light of the president’s comments that he might not accept the results of the election if he loses. This non-binding resolution should also get bipartisan support in light of a former Democratic candidate’s suggestion that the party’s current presidential nominee shouldn’t concede under any circumstances.

burrkitty's Opinion
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09/29/2020
In the early morning hours of March 4, 1801, John Adams, the second president of the United States, quietly left Washington, D.C. under cover of darkness. He would not attend the inauguration ceremony held later that day for his former friend—now political rival—Thomas Jefferson, who would soon replace Adams in the still-unfinished presidential mansion. On the heels of his humiliating defeat in the previous year’s election, Adams was setting an important precedent. His departure from office marked the first peaceful transfer of power between political opponents in the United States, now viewed as a hallmark of the nation’s democracy. Since then, the loser of every presidential election in U.S. history has willingly and peacefully surrendered power to the winner, despite whatever personal animosity or political divisions might exist. Since 1801, the peaceful transfer of power has remained a hallmark of U.S. government, joining the two-party system as key aspects of ensuring a healthy democracy. Adams’s early-morning departure aside, a majority of outgoing presidents have attended the inaugurations of their successors. Notable exceptions include Adams’s own son, John Quincy Adams, who declined to attend Andrew Jackson’s first inaugural in 1829; and the embattled Andrew Johnson, who refused to attend the inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant as his successor in 1869, choosing to hold a final meeting of his cabinet instead. Inaugural customs for outgoing presidents have changed over the years, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. In 1837, Jackson and his successor, Martin Van Buren, began a new tradition by riding together to Van Buren’s inauguration at the U.S. Capitol. Until the early 20th century, the outgoing and incoming presidents additionally rode together back to the White House after the inaugural ceremonies. Theodore Roosevelt was the first to depart from this pattern in 1909 by heading directly from the Capitol to Union Station, where he caught a train to New York. Later presidents, such as Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson, left the Capitol grounds by car. Since Gerald Ford’s departure from office in 1977, every outgoing president and first lady have departed the inaugural ceremonies via helicopter, leaving their successors to attend an inaugural luncheon inside the Capitol building. While I have no expectations that Trump will perform any of the social civilities of losing as he thrives on divisions he must exit without violence when he loses and it will be up to the rest of the GOP to insist on it. God help us all.
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Kodiwodi's Opinion
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09/29/2020
All of Congress needs to commit to this, not just the House.
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larubia's Opinion
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09/29/2020
Yes the House & Senate should both set forth a resolution for the peaceful transfer of power and explicitly state what will happen if tRump continues his disinformation campaign and what will happen if he denies the outcome of this election, specifically he will be removed, charged & imprisoned. His actions should have consequences. His parents and this Senate have refused to give him any.
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Argument opposed

No presidential candidate or outgoing administration has the ability to thwart the will of the American electorate by trying to derail the peaceful transfer of power, but it’s a waste of 40 minutes of scarce floor time for the House to debate a non-binding resolution reaffirming its commitment to the peaceful transfer of power when there are other urgent priorities.

B.R.'s Opinion
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09/29/2020
How childish have we become. What a waste of time.
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Just.Dave's Opinion
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09/30/2020
Who gives a crap what the house says, theyll do whatever they want in the end. Trump and hillary were both asked if they would accept the election results or if they would contest it... hillary said without hesitation that she would accept the results. Did she? No she's been talking trash for four years with the rest of you libtards. You can say you'll commit to this today, but you know as well as I do that you're going to be screaming foul play come November 3rd when Trump wins a second term. If the unthinkable happens and the pedophile and the anchor baby win, you dont deserve a peaceful transition of power... you deserve an unconstitutional impeachment without evidence. You deserve slander. You deserve the war your call for today. Say what you want, do the opposite... I don't care. At least we both know that I will keep my promise to you.
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jayar's Opinion
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09/30/2020
First we would have to have a peaceful transfer of power from 2016. That has not happened.
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What is House Bill H. Res. 1155?

This resolution would reaffirm the commitment of the House of Representatives to the orderly and peaceful transfer of power called for in the U.S. Constitution, and its intention that there should be no disruptions by the president or any person in power to overturn the will of the American people. It would also note that domestic tranquility, national security, general welfare, and civil liberties depend on the peaceful and orderly transfer of power; and that any disruption could produce results detrimental to the safety and well-being of the U.S. and the American people.

As a simple resolution, this legislation wouldn’t have the force of law or advance beyond the House if adopted.

Impact

The House of Representatives.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 1155

As a non-binding resolution, this legislation has no cost.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) introduced this resolution to reaffirm the House of Representatives’ commitment to the orderly and peaceful transfer of power called for in the Constitution:

“Since the dawn of our nation, every President has honored the orderly and peaceful transfer of power to his successor following an election, but President Trump repeatedly has said he might not allow this. His threat to refuse to accept defeat should worry every American regardless of party. With this resolution, the House will express its commitment to democracy and its intent that nobody can subvert the will of the people of the United States.”

President Donald Trump has declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the November election to Democratic challenger Joe Biden and said, “We’re going to have to see what happens. You know that I have been complaining very strongly about the ballots and the ballots are a disaster.” He made similar comments during a debate in the 2016 presidential campaign, saying that he would “keep you in suspense.” 

In response to Trump's most recent comments that he might not allow the transfer of power if he's defeated, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tweeted, "The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th. There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792."

Resisting electoral outcomes has bipartisan appeal: Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, told 2020 Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden that he shouldn’t concede “under any circumstances”:

“Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances, because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch, and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is.”

Republicans have criticized the Obama administration for undermining the traditional peaceful transfer of power by launching an investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign, which continued through the transition period and into Trump’s first year in office. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation ultimately concluded there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in election interference. Declassified documents later showed that Obama administration Dept. of Justice officials used the Steele dossier as a “central and essential” part of their applications to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page, despite ex-British spy Christopher Steele’s dossier relying primarily on a sub-source whom the DOJ suspected was a Russian agent.

The Senate passed a similar non-binding resolution by unanimous consent on September 24, 2020.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / tupungato)

AKA

Reaffirming the House of Representatives' commitment to the orderly and peaceful transfer of power called for in the Constitution of the United States, and for other purposes.

Official Title

Reaffirming the House of Representatives' commitment to the orderly and peaceful transfer of power called for in the Constitution of the United States, and for other purposes.

simple resolution Progress


  • The house Passed September 30th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 397 Yea / 5 Nay
    IntroducedSeptember 29th, 2020

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    In the early morning hours of March 4, 1801, John Adams, the second president of the United States, quietly left Washington, D.C. under cover of darkness. He would not attend the inauguration ceremony held later that day for his former friend—now political rival—Thomas Jefferson, who would soon replace Adams in the still-unfinished presidential mansion. On the heels of his humiliating defeat in the previous year’s election, Adams was setting an important precedent. His departure from office marked the first peaceful transfer of power between political opponents in the United States, now viewed as a hallmark of the nation’s democracy. Since then, the loser of every presidential election in U.S. history has willingly and peacefully surrendered power to the winner, despite whatever personal animosity or political divisions might exist. Since 1801, the peaceful transfer of power has remained a hallmark of U.S. government, joining the two-party system as key aspects of ensuring a healthy democracy. Adams’s early-morning departure aside, a majority of outgoing presidents have attended the inaugurations of their successors. Notable exceptions include Adams’s own son, John Quincy Adams, who declined to attend Andrew Jackson’s first inaugural in 1829; and the embattled Andrew Johnson, who refused to attend the inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant as his successor in 1869, choosing to hold a final meeting of his cabinet instead. Inaugural customs for outgoing presidents have changed over the years, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. In 1837, Jackson and his successor, Martin Van Buren, began a new tradition by riding together to Van Buren’s inauguration at the U.S. Capitol. Until the early 20th century, the outgoing and incoming presidents additionally rode together back to the White House after the inaugural ceremonies. Theodore Roosevelt was the first to depart from this pattern in 1909 by heading directly from the Capitol to Union Station, where he caught a train to New York. Later presidents, such as Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson, left the Capitol grounds by car. Since Gerald Ford’s departure from office in 1977, every outgoing president and first lady have departed the inaugural ceremonies via helicopter, leaving their successors to attend an inaugural luncheon inside the Capitol building. While I have no expectations that Trump will perform any of the social civilities of losing as he thrives on divisions he must exit without violence when he loses and it will be up to the rest of the GOP to insist on it. God help us all.
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    How childish have we become. What a waste of time.
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    Curt: Before you make allegations of mail in ballot fraud - please cite proof that this has ever happened in a national election ever in any significant scale could effect an election. Numerous studies of past elections could not find any fraudulent balloting over 0.003% over forty years of elections- that is 3 votes out of every 100,000 votes cast- and even in these cases the fraudulent ballots were not all directed to the same candidate and mostly cancelled themselves out. If you are a real person and not a Russian bot- please stop trying to cast doubt on well established safe voting practices. AS far as the House resolution, it doesn't mean much but it might motivate some opposing legislators to become interested in preserving the country once again. It would be pretty interesting if their were a lot of crossover country-before-party legislators.
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    All of Congress needs to commit to this, not just the House.
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    Yes the House & Senate should both set forth a resolution for the peaceful transfer of power and explicitly state what will happen if tRump continues his disinformation campaign and what will happen if he denies the outcome of this election, specifically he will be removed, charged & imprisoned. His actions should have consequences. His parents and this Senate have refused to give him any.
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    Both Republicans & the Senate unanimously commit to a peaceful transfer of power pushing back on Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. @Curt: Vote by mail is the only option in 5 states (CO, HI, OR, UT, WA) and has been in OR since 1987, CO since 2002, WA since 2005, etc. Are you saying elections going back to 1987 should be invalidated because of this? https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/unanimous-senate-commits-peaceful-transfer-power-trump-refuses/story?id=73216758 https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/24/gop-peaceful-power-transfer-421025 https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/what-if-trump-refuses-concede/616424/ https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-ties-supreme-court-vacancy-to-possible-disputed-election-11600899074 https://ballotpedia.org/All-mail_voting https://ballotpedia.org/Colorado_Mail_Ballot,_Initiative_28_(2002) https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/timeline/time5.htm https://multco.us/elections/brief-history-vote-mail-oregon
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    Congress must do all it can to ensure a peaceful transition of power once ALL the votes have been counted and a winner has been determined. We cannot allow a fraudulent autocrat to squat in the people's house if he's defeated in the election.
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    It is ridiculous to me that there is a President in office right now that will not commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses. During the debates he told his supporters to essentially bully voters at the polls. It’s rigged if he loses but not rigged if he wins. He is a clown and a bully and the GOP owns him. Who in the GOP will stand up for our Democracy and actually disavow White Supremacist groups? Who in the GOP will commit to Law and Order with Justice?
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    Who gives a crap what the house says, theyll do whatever they want in the end. Trump and hillary were both asked if they would accept the election results or if they would contest it... hillary said without hesitation that she would accept the results. Did she? No she's been talking trash for four years with the rest of you libtards. You can say you'll commit to this today, but you know as well as I do that you're going to be screaming foul play come November 3rd when Trump wins a second term. If the unthinkable happens and the pedophile and the anchor baby win, you dont deserve a peaceful transition of power... you deserve an unconstitutional impeachment without evidence. You deserve slander. You deserve the war your call for today. Say what you want, do the opposite... I don't care. At least we both know that I will keep my promise to you.
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    So should the Senate and every government official.
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    First we would have to have a peaceful transfer of power from 2016. That has not happened.
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    Showing unity for the Constitutional process in accepting the results of the ballots could help us all in facing the fear that 45 is trying to keep the Presidency whether or not he is wanted.
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    Of course. This is a Democracy not an dictatorship.
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    This whole situation is bizarre. We have gone down the rabbit hole
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    Not only should the House support this but so should the Senate and that piece of trash who sits in the Oval Office.
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    Trump has sewn fraudulent seeds of conspiracy around the 2020 Presidential Election. He does not plan to leave if not re-elected, and his flock will defend him regardless of consequences. This dangerous situation, this powder keg, will be disastrous if not disarmed and averted by all peaceful means at our disposal.
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    Not until the count is right by throwing out all of the mail in ballots that have been forged.
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    I cannot adequately express my absolute disgust that Jim Jordan, my miserable excuse for a Congressman, was unable to vote on a measure showing support for a peaceful transition of power after the presidential election.
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    It’s disgusting that this resolution is even necessary. It’s introduction is a statement that we, as a nation, no longer recognize the values, ideas, beliefs upon which this nation was founded. What would be more appropriate would be a resolution setting a date for Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, William Barr, and their Republican henchmen can publicly burn, on national television, the Constitution of the United States.
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    "Commitment"? Be bold. Formulate a plan to follow.
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