An additional 140 House Republicans have joined a recent lawsuit filed earlier this week against Speaker Nancy Pelosi over new rules in the lower chamber allowing for proxy voting. The suit was originally filed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy joined by 20 GOP lawmakers and four constituents.
These sweeping rule changes would upend more than 200 years of precedent and present serious risks to chamber security systems. The new rules granting widespread proxy voting are unconstitutional and fly in the face of how the nation’s founders intended its legislature to operate.
“In the 231-year existence of the United States Congress, neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate has ever permitted a member to vote by proxy from the floor of the chambers.” The lawsuit starts. It explains how the Congress of the United States has never flinched from its constitutional duty to assemble at the Nation’s Capital and conduct the people’s business in times or national peril.
The lawsuit also features 161 Republican Congressman including Shipley Swayze, a constituent for Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist who claimed the “ongoing public health emergency” was the reason for his absence at a legislative business meeting in Washington. He was later seen that same day attending the NASA/SpaceX historic space launch which was ultimately postponed to Saturday due to weather. Florida Democratic Congressman Darren Soto also delegated his constitutional voting duties to another member to attend the launch.
House Republicans have also filed both temporary and permanent injunctions requesting that D.C put a halt to proxy voting, which has already been invoked by more than 70 Democrats. They assert that a clear and honest reading of the Constitution explicitly rejects this idea. The rule change allowing for proxy voting was passed earlier this month as part of a larger package dictating how the lower chamber operates during coronavirus. The House has also been rushed for creation of new technology to conduct these virtual businesses.
Considering the 1.6 billion+ cyber-attacks the House receives on an average month, widespread concern remains over the use of rapidly-developed technology, especially since less than five months ago there was the technology-induced breakdown of the Iowa Democratic caucuses.
“Those numbers can and will grow, while the number of members who cast votes in person shrinks. Ultimately, as few as 20 members could control the vote of over 220 members under this rule for the foreseeable future.” Kevin McCarthy said.
Republicans’ concerns over the House voting by proxy also mirrors the upcoming debate on what the November elections will look like this fall when millions of Americans head to the polls. House Democrats want to unify with universal “no-excuse” absentee voting offered to every voter in every state. This will make little to no time for safeguarding the integrity of the election and its voters. A clear reading of the Constitution outlines House duties that reject the idea of proxy voting. By definition, the nation’s assembly must actually assemble.