The House said Thursday it will not back any efforts to postpone this year’s presidential elections due to terrorist threats or attacks.
Lawmakers voted 419-2 in support of a congressional resolution from Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, that also says no agency or individual should be given the authority to postpone the date of a national election, which will be held this year on Nov. 2.
The House action comes after the chairman of a federal commission on voting suggested to congressional leaders last week that there should be a process for canceling or rescheduling an election interrupted by terrorism. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice has said the administration is considering no such plan.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge recently warned that intelligence indicates that the al-Qaida terrorist network wants to disrupt the upcoming elections.
Some lawmakers were concerned that postponing an election would make the country look vulnerable. Others worried that an election could be postponed for political purposes.
Ney, who is chairman of the House Administration Committee, says it was necessary for the House to “end such talk immediately.”
The resolution had 81 co-sponsors, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.
“This resolution will send a message around our nation and around the world that the United States will not be bullied by terrorism,” Hastert said.
Unlike a bill, a House resolution is not binding and does not have the force of law. It merely expresses the sentiment of members of the House.
The two congressmen who voted against the resolution were Reps. Brian Baird, D-Wash., and Scott McInnis, R-Colo. Thirteen lawmakers didn’t vote on the measure.