Pelosi Extends Proxy Voting Despite There Being No Emergency

( Last week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi extended the pandemic-era proxy voting until December 25, just days before the new Republican Congress will take over.

Pelosi, who has been extending the rule every 45 days since it was first enacted, said last Thursday that she was extending it again because of “a public health emergency is in effect due to a novel coronavirus.”

Yeah, it’s not so “novel” anymore.

The Democrat House first established proxy voting in May 2020 during the height of the pandemic citing the COVID “public health emergency” that allowed members to vote on legislation through a proxy without having to be present in the House chamber.

Last year, Republicans sued to stop the practice, arguing the proxy vote rule violated the Constitution because only lawmakers present are permitted to vote on legislation. However, the lawsuit failed to go anywhere.

To cast a proxy vote, House members must file a letter with the Office of the House Clerk that designates another House member to vote on their behalf if they are “physically unable to attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency.

But there is no “public health emergency” anymore.

What’s more, lawmakers weren’t just using the proxy vote for a health emergency. They were also using it so they could take vacations, attend out-of-town events, and campaign for reelection.

But the current extension is likely the last since Republicans, who will take control in January, have vowed to put an end to the practice.

In his letter to Republican members last week announcing his bid for Speaker of the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy vowed to do away with the pandemic-era rule, saying proxy voting and other “remote work schemes” imposed by Pelosi “have inflicted untold damage to this institution.