House Divided Over Proxy Voting

House Divided Over Proxy Voting House Divided Over Proxy Voting U.S. House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) speaks during a news conference at the 2022 House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference March 11, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Alex Wong/Getty)

By Theodore Bunker | Monday, 18 April 2022 03:20 PM

House Democrats and Republicans are headed for a potential showdown over proxy voting as members weigh whether the practice should continue, the Washington Examiner reports.

"I see a number of cases in which it may be appropriate to continue having it as an option — not as a preference, not as a practice — but as an option, such as when members may be ill, have to care for a sick loved one, or welcome a new child," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said about proxy voting last Thursday during a House Rules Committee hearing.

The Hill notes that while most Republicans opposed proxy voting initially, many have since utilized the practice, including House GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer, R-Minn.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who filed a lawsuit over proxy voting rejected by the courts, has vowed to eliminate the practice if Republicans gain control over the House in the upcoming midterm elections. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., the ranking Republican on the House Administration Committee, said on Thursday that proxy voting should not be allowed to continue.

Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., who previously tested positive for COVID-19 and could only participate in the hearing virtually, asked Davis, "What would you suggest to the 7 million people whom we collectively represent, who would be deprived of the ability to opine on various different pieces of legislation that we’re considering on the floor because their representative happened to be diagnosed with this illness?"

Davis said, "I would provide 200 years of precedent before this pandemic began. There are hard decisions that have to be made."

Original Article