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Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy vows to end proxy voting

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced at the America First Agenda summit in Washington on July 26 that proxy voting would be abolished under a GOP majority.

In May 2020, the House approved a proxy voting measure that will allow members to vote by proxy. It purportedly satisfied the Constitution's requirement that lawmakers must be present for voting and approving legislation by allowing representatives to work from home.

Proxy voting was supposed to be limited to a limited period, as little was known about COVID-19 in 2020, as stipulated by H.Res. 965, sponsored by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.).

A unanimous vote against the legislation was cast by Republicans and Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), who is the only independent in the chamber. It was opposed by only three Democrats. The measure remains largely unpopular among Republicans.

When Republicans gain control of Congress, McCarthy predicted "the Democrats will be rudely awakened by the fact that they will no longer be able to skip work and still get paid because proxy voting will be abolished."

As soon as the bill was introduced and approved by the Democratic majority, Republicans were opposed to it. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) criticized the practice in a Jan. 12, 2022, speech on the Floor of the House. The Supreme Court denied McCarthy and several other Republicans' requests to overturn the practice in December 2021, ruling that the House may set its own rules if it so desires.

27 July 2022


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