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House Democrats change rules to allow “proxy voting”

American Wire

For the first time in history, members of the House of Representatives can now cast a vote by proxy under a resolution passed on Friday. The change comes as Congress continues to struggle with how to conduct business during the coronavirus pandemic. Almost all D.C. congressional offices are closed and operating remotely after a number of Hill staffers and lawmakers began testing positive for COVID-19.

With the rule change, members who cannot be in Washington can determine whom they will call to cast their vote on the House floor on their behalf. No single member can be responsible for casting a vote for more than 10 of their colleagues. In order to vote by proxy, members must submit in writing their intent to the House Clerk, Cheryl Johnson.

Democrats argued that the House needed to make sure that they can continue to do work in a safe environment during the health crisis while Republicans called the move an “unconstitutional power grab.”

“Our Founders would be ashamed that we aren’t assembling,” House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said while arguing that lawmakers shouldn’t be paid to stay home. “A virtual Congress would be a Congress that is connected to the Internet, but disconnected from the American people.”

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise took to Twitter on Friday to express his concerns over the rule change as well. He charged that Democrats can now “sit at home and collect their paychecks while turning their voting cards over to Pelosi.”

The issue of allowing members to vote remotely isn’t as partisan as the proxy voting rule change. Last month, a group of bipartisan House members making up the “Problem Solvers Caucus” sent an open letter to House leaders with several alternatives including installing voting machines in the district offices of lawmakers. Pelosi has repeatedly dismissed the idea of electronic remote voting.

Republican Ohio Senator Rob Portman also called for remote voting in a recent Op-Ed. He told reporters that Congress was falling behind while many Americans are finding ways to work remotely.

“The idea of remote voting has been kicking around for years, but it has gotten more attention recently with the coronavirus.” wrote Portman. “In a way, having the capability to vote remotely is similar to what so many others are doing, as millions of jobs have shifted to remote work to slow the spread of the virus.”

The proxy vote change comes during an interesting time in Washington. The Supreme Court is currently holding their oral arguments via telephone conference and the U.S. Senate recently held a video conference hearing where the chairman and witnesses zoomed from their homes.

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9 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Anotherbiker445 May 19, 2020

    Wish I could stay home and collect $100k+ per year and not do anything. Wait, many in congress have been doing that for decades. Only difference now is that they are no longer hiding it. Please vote out all these american not-heros out of office this November.

  2. Avatar
    Anonymous May 19, 2020

    Prelude to CHEATING! . . . So, what ELSE is new?!? Maybe they should get paid for MERIT only – basically NOTHING. One Wary and DISCUTED Patriot. Team Trump and his allies 2020.

  3. Avatar
    Robert Clampit May 19, 2020

    Nothing more than Pelosi stacking the deck to control how she can bully all the Democratic House member to insure anything she wants gets on the floor and passed. This is nothing but a power grab and any member of the house that votes by proxy should be paid y proxy, in other words, they deserve no pay as they are not showing up to do the peoples work that they were elected to do.

  4. Avatar
    Irwin May 19, 2020

    How do you have a debate on purposed legislation over the phone???? These libs are completely crooked corrupt communists.

  5. Avatar
    Michelle Haisley May 19, 2020

    This is just another ploy for Pelosi to try and keep her seat as speaker of the house. She’s definitely power hungry and gone off the rail I certainly don’t want her to be the one to hold or count any votes ffor anything. She’s made it clear that her only mission is to destroy President Trump and doesn’t give a damn about the American people. She needs to be voted out. I certainly hope the people in California open their eyes to see the damage she has done to our government and its laws. What a shame, just look at her own district. Pretty soon all of America will look worse than skid row. She’ll bankrupt this country and sell it out to the highest bidder while she removes herself from the squaller she’s created.

  6. Avatar
    Garry Rubin May 19, 2020

    Democrats can stay home for the rest of the year, but still get paid.
    If the American people can find was to protect them selves by masks and gloves why can’t congress do the same. All the people elected to Congress have offices, so why don’t they just come and do what they are making us do, SIX FEET APART, GLOVES AND MASK, HAVE THEM CHECKED OUT FOR A TEMPERATURE AND GO TO WORK.
    PELOSI WANTS TO TAKE CONTROL OVER ALL AND DO NOTHING TO RECEIVE HER PAY CHECK BUT TO CONTROL VOTES TO HER OWN AGENDA.
    IF I STAY HOME I DO NOT GET A PAID SO WHY SHOULD THEY, COME BACK TO TOWN AND GO TO WORK.

  7. Avatar
    Anonymous May 19, 2020

    $100,000. is a drop in the bucket compared to what they really make… Their base is more than that, then you need to factor in all the money they scam from big pharma along with others their in bed with. Why else would they all be multi millionaires…

  8. Avatar
    marc May 19, 2020

    MORE OF GEORGE SOROS AND HIS DEMONRATS, don’t they just beg to be annihilated… I’d like to wipe the smug smile off their faces with the back of my hand… they get what they earned. Not 1 Demonrat was interested in OUR health, wealth or well-being. They just want to fill their pockets with $$$

  9. Avatar
    marc May 19, 2020

    use the national guard and citizens arrest them for abuse of power, at the same time collect ALL of the illegal Deep State folks. They ALL (demonrats) have broken ‘the oath of office” and we all sit on our thumbs and DO nothing, something to remember and be proud of…
    folks, this is war, right here inside the USA. Hang the Traitors immediately, close the borders and purge the system, or it’s gonna barf…

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