House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has received harsh criticism since she and the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a measure that changed a longstanding rule that required in-person voting, to allow voting by proxy instead.
Obviously, House Republicans oppose the rule change and plan to ensure Pelosi is accountable for her divisive political stunt. Their response was the filing of legislation by North Carolina GOP Representative Ted Budd that would withhold the pay of any member of Congress who casts a vote without being present.
Budd said that the premise of his bill is really quite simple: if you don’t show up to work to do your job, you shouldn’t get paid — especially when your checks are essentially signed by the American taxpayers you were elected to represent.
The No Pay for Proxy Voting Act, which was announced by the congressman’s office via a press release, would temporarily withhold the pay of members of Congress that have signed up to take advantage of the new proxy rule to cast votes without actually being present in the House chamber and doing what they are paid to do.
“Outsourcing the duty of a member of Congress is unconstitutional and wrong. House members should not be allowed to send someone else to do their jobs for them,” Budd said.
“In the real world, if you don’t show up for your job, you don’t get paid. The same principle should apply to our country’s representatives,” he added. “If they don’t come to work, they shouldn’t receive their taxpayer-funded paycheck.”
Budd has at least six co-sponsors for his bill, which includes fellow NC Republicans Dan Bishop and David Rouzer. Support also included Reps. Jack Bergman (R-MI), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), John Curtis (R-UT), Alex Mooney (R-WV), and Bill Posey (R-FL).
In late May, House Republicans filed a lawsuit against Pelosi in an effort to halt the proxy voting established during the COVID-19 pandemic, on the basis that it is illegal as well as unconstitutional.
The new rule would allow each lawmaker present in the chamber to vote for up to 10 absent colleagues. This would require that the intentions of those voting by proxy are transmitted electronically and in writing to the House clerk and to the voting lawmaker in advance.
This means that House members can now vote on another person’s behalf when they claim they cannot be physically present to do their required duty at the Capitol.
GOP lawmakers strongly feel that all lawmakers should and must be present in order to cast their own vote. They also warn that proxy voting creates a system where too much power is given to only a few members.
It is notable that the GOP-controlled Senate returned to their regular business schedule in early May and has been operating safely under social distancing guidelines. Meanwhile, Democrats are still enjoying an extended vacation on the American taxpayer’s dime.