House Republicans filed a lawsuit Tuesday against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to block the Democrat’s idea of a proxy voting system established during the coronavirus pandemic on the grounds that it is completely unconstitutional.
If proxy voting is approved, it would allow House members to vote on another person’s behalf if they cannot or choose not to be physically present at the Capitol to do their required job. Currently, at least 59 Democrats have submitted letters to the House Clerk’s office for their vote to be cast by proxy. Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers have already gotten back to work and have confirmed that they will indeed be in the Capitol to cast their votes and do their job for the people.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, (R-CA) said the new voting system is “a dereliction of our duty as elected officials,” and argued that “a small number of members dictating the businesses of the whole House while the people’s voice is diluted” would be a dangerous precedent to set.
McCarthy is taking charge of the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. and is supported by 20 other members of his party which include four constituents as well as Rep. Chip Roy from Texas, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, and GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney from Wyoming.
“It’s simple: one representative should equal one vote. We can’t let her get away with this,” Scalise said Tuesday.
Pelosi defended the new system and called the lawsuit a “sad stunt” that was meant to “delay and obstruct urgently-needed action to meet the needs of American workers and families during the coronavirus crisis.”
Pelosi also argued that past rulings by the Supreme Court have upheld that the Constitution allows each chamber of Congress to set its own procedural rules. For proxy voting, the House sergeant-at-arms and the attending physician have to notify lawmakers 24 hours in advance of invoking remote voting and the rule will stand for up to 45 days once it has been invoked.
The problem is that Democrats are using the proxy voting system as an excuse not to return to work. The president and House members are not the only ones who have issue with the tricks the Democrats are pulling. Americans had a lot to say when Florida Congressman Charlie Crist wrote a letter asking that he be excused from attending a voting session in Washington due to coronavirus concerns, but was seen at the scheduled SpaceX launch.
“I am unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency, and I hereby grant the authority to cast my vote by proxy to the Honorable Stephanie Murphy,” Crist wrote in a letter, indicating that Rep. Murphy (D-FL) would serve as his proxy.
Crist then posted this on his social media account: “Looking forward to attending today’s historic manned SpaceX launch to the Space Station. The first from American soil since 2011 and first ever on a commercial spacecraft. Huge step for space exploration and Florida!” Interesting.
It is to be noted that not a single Republican supported the measure as it passed earlier this month. Instead, they argued that the Constitution requires a quorum, or a majority, of lawmakers to be physically present in order to vote on measures. This means that the proxy voting system is unconstitutional. Not to mention that this inept system gives too much power to those few members.