In an interview with WNKY, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out that the United States has never postponed an election.
“We’ll cope with whatever the situation is and have the election on Nov. 3 as already scheduled,” the Kentucky senator said in a video of the interview, which was posted to Twitter by a reporter for the outlet.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy echoed McConnell.
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa strongly pushed back against the suggestion.
“It doesn’t matter what an individual in this country says, we still are a country based on the rule of law, we must follow the law until either the Constitution is changed or until the law is changed.”
Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Rodney Davis, Susan Brooks, Fred Upton, John Curtis, Steve Sivers, Bruce Westerman, Chris Stewart, Tim Burchett, Don Bacon, Troy Balderson, Jim Sensenbrenner and Michael Guest all expressed opposition to the president’s idea as well. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina also rejected the idea.
Earlier in the day, Trump floated delaying the November election, citing concerns over vote-by-mail amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 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???” the commander-in-chief tweeted.
However, Trump does not have the authority to cancel the November contest. As BBC pointed out, the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives would have to approve such a decision.
Earlier this year, several primary contests were delayed due to concerns about public health and safety. Although state governments would not be able to postpone the general election, they would have the authority to reduce the number of polling locations.
Research suggests that most Americans would not be comfortable casting their ballot in person this fall. In a recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, 66 percent of respondents said that they would rather not go to a polling place.
Still, Trump and his Republican allies have long argued that mail-in voting is susceptible to fraud. The commander-in-chief has also repeatedly said that he may not accept the results of the 2020 presidential election.
In a recent interview, California Rep. Adam Schiff — who is the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee — posited that Trump is trying to “discredit the votes of millions of people.”