McCarthy released a statement Thursday saying that justices should “uphold the Constitution by overturning Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi’s perpetual proxy voting power grab.”
It’s the latest salvo by Republicans to do away with the provision that enables members to have a colleague vote for them even though they are not physically present in the House chamber.
The provision, House Resolution 965, was adopted by the House in March 2020, and has been widely used by members of both sides of the aisle, often for non-pandemic reasons.
Though the provision requires members to attest that they are physically absent because of the pandemic, a CNN comprehensive review of 185 House votes taken since January 2021 showed that members have missed votes to attend political functions and trips with the President.
Neither side, however, has a strong appetite for punishing members who utilize proxy voting for purposes for which it was not intended.
Republicans have derided the practice as a power move by Democratic leadership to to ensure they keep their slim majority on tight votes regardless of whether all their members are on Capitol Hill, but despite their objections, more than a third of the Republican conference have proxy voted.
A lawsuit filed by House Republicans last year sought to put an end to proxy voting in the House, arguing that constitutional provisions required members of Congress to be physically present to vote. Of the initial 130 Republicans to serve as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, 40 have voted via proxy, a total of 734 collective votes among them.
Challenges to the proxy voting rules have failed at the district and appeals court levels.
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