Democrats’ Proxy Voting Scheme
Yesterday, House Republicans formally announced that they were filing a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of House Democrats’ proxy voting scheme. See below for full video of the press conference held explaining the lawsuit, and click on these hyperlinks for highlights:
Even after the lawsuit was filed, 76 House Democrats – nearly a third of their entire caucus – sent letters to the House Clerk giving their vote to another member on the floor.
- The Washington Examiner: “On first day of virtual Congress, more than 70 Democrats stayed home”
Under the proxy voting scheme passed by Democrats, a member is only supposed to surrender their vote to a proxy if they are physically unable to vote in Washington. The letters signed by the House Democrats’ to the Clerk say, “I am unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency.”
However, there’s already evidence of House Democrats taking advantage of this unprecedented partisan rule change, and using it so they do not have to show up to work, but can still be recorded as having voted.
Both Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) stated that they were “unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber,” and signed a letter give their vote to a proxy. Yet both members tweeted yesterday that they planned to attend the SpaceX launch scheduled to take place at the Kennedy Space Center:
Looking forward to attending today’s historic manned @SpaceX launch to @Space_Station – the first from American soil since 2011 and first ever on a commercial spacecraft. Huge step for space exploration and Florida! pic.twitter.com/EHhF5U8F5M
— Rep. Charlie Crist (@RepCharlieCrist) May 27, 2020
— US Rep. Darren Soto (@RepDarrenSoto) May 27, 2020
The fact that Democratic members of the House are already using this rule change as an excuse to not come to Washington to vote – not because of the public health emergency but because they have others things they’d rather do – shows why it’s deeply misguided.