Speaker McCarthy puts an end to Covid-era proxy voting

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News January 19, 2023

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Thursday ended proxy voting “effective immediately.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy / C-SPAN

All members of the House must now show up in person if they want their votes to count, McCarthy said.

The practice of proxy voting was established by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the Covid pandemic to permit lawmakers to vote without being present in the House chamber.

Under Pelosi’s rule, instead of showing up for votes, a member of Congress could submit a letter to have a colleague announce their position on bills and amendments and even cast votes in their name.

Critics say that while proxy voting was intended as a “public health emergency” policy, lawmakers in both parties were pawning off their votes in order to attend campaign events and other functions entirely unrelated to their health concerns with voting in-person.

Fox News cited the example of three Michigan Democrats who voted by proxy so they could attend an event with Joe Biden at the Ford Motors facility in Dearborn, Michigan in May 2021.

“The Senate has managed to maintain in-person Floor voting for the entirety of the past two years — with a much older population and a 50-50 makeup, no less,” McCarthy said in December. “From the get-go, we warned that proxy voting would be misused as a means of convenience rather than as a precaution for health — and it has been, by members of both parties.”

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