Pelosi Issues Statement on House Republicans Suing to Block Remote Voting by Proxy

Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on House Republicans’ plans to sue to block remote voting by proxy:

“House Republicans’ sad stunt shows that their only focus is to delay and obstruct urgently-needed action to meet the needs of American workers and families during the coronavirus crisis.

“The House made its will clear two weeks ago when it voted to implement remote voting by proxy and other necessary measures to ensure that Congress can continue to protect lives and livelihoods.  The House’s position that remote voting by proxy during a pandemic is fully consistent with the Constitution is supported by expert legal analyses.  Further, the Supreme Court made clear over a century ago that the Constitution empowers each chamber of Congress to set its own procedural rules.

“As our nation approaches the heartbreaking milestone of 100,000 lives lost to COVID-19, House Republicans must stop their dangerous obstruction and join Democrats to save lives, defeat the virus and grow the economy.”

Tuesday afternoon GOP House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted:

I just filed a lawsuit in federal court to overturn Speaker Pelosi’s unconstitutional proxy voting scheme.

It could allow as few as 20 Representatives to control the votes of 220. This is NOT the representative democracy our Founders envisioned or what our Constitution allows.

Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Jim Jordan wrote:

Proxy voting is unconstitutional. Period.

Let’s face it. You gotta show up for work.

Speaker Pelosi’s lawless voting scheme has no place in Congress.

Per TheHill, McCarthy and 20 other GOP members, along with four constituents, are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

The GOP leader noted in a statement that nearly 60 Democrats plan to vote remotely this week amid health concerns about traveling to the nation’s capital. D.C. remains under a stay-at-home order.

“This is not simply arcane parliamentary procedure. It is a brazen violation of the Constitution, a dereliction of our duty as elected officials, and would silence the American people’s voice during a crisis,” McCarthy said.

Republicans have argued that the rules change is unconstitutional and bucks precedent while also placing too much power in the hands of a select number of members.

Democrats, meanwhile, say that the change was necessary to limit the number of people on the House floor during the pandemic.

Lawmakers’ intended votes must be put in writing ahead of them being cast, and no member can cast proxy votes for more than 10 colleagues.