BREAKING: House approves historic rules change to allow remote voting with 217-189 vote

By a vote of 217-189, the Democrat majority house has voted for historic rule changes to allow remote voting for lawmakers during the pandemic.

Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) voted no and wrote “The rule change will make politics more partisan by removing the need for legislators to be together negotiating. If Americans can return to work at grocery stores, restaurants & fire stations, then members can return to vote in a safe, healthy way.”

CNN reports House Democrats on Friday approved a rules change to allow lawmakers to vote while away from Washington during the coronavirus pandemic, a move that will allow the chamber to operate remotely for the first time in its more than 200-year history.

Democrats approved the rules change, which stands to significantly alter the way the House conducts legislative business, over Republican opposition with a vote of 217-189.

Republicans protested the rules change as a partisan power grab that will upend institutional tradition, while Democrats argued the change was needed to ensure that lawmakers can continue to legislate safely and effectively amid the pandemic.

Lawmakers will next vote on a Covid-19 aid package with a price tag of more than $3 trillion, which House Democratic leaders have expressed confidence will pass despite Republican opposition as well as pushback from some moderate and progressive Democrats.

The rules change will authorize temporary implementation of remote voting by proxy in the event of a public health emergency due to the coronavirus. It also allows for remote committee proceedings during the pandemic.

Under the rules change, lawmakers who cannot or do not want to travel during the pandemic will be allowed to designate proxies by sending letters to the House clerk. Proxies will be required to “receive exact written instruction” from the members who are using them as proxies, according to the House Rules Committee.

Any given member can serve as a proxy only for up to 10 other lawmakers.

Once enacted, the authorization for remote voting and remote committee work will remain in place for a 45-day period, after which it could be extended if the public health emergency persists.

Read more here. 

Dan Crenshaw wrote:

This is no joke, even though it sounds like one:

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Democrats just passed a bill to do proxy voting.

They don’t want to work. They don’t believe in leading from the front.

If Democrats want to telework, help them find new jobs in November.

Because they shouldn’t be in Congress.