A controversial emergency measure gave representatives the unprecedented ability to vote on behalf of others who could not attend Congress.
House Democrats took advantage of the new proxy voting scheme, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) introduced to allow 74 party members to nominate a colleague who votes on their behalf due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus.
About a third of the Democratic Party caucus did not show up to vote on whether to impose sanctions against CCP officials for persecuting Uighur Muslims in mainland China. No Republican representatives used a proxy vote, and the final count was 413 for and one against.
Proxy voting proceeded despite more than 20 Republicans recently taking legal action against the plan in federal court to overturn what House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) described to be an “unconstitutional proxy voting scheme.”
McCarthy expressed serious concerns the scheme could be misused and allow just a handful of Democrats to control the outcome of hundreds of votes from the party.
20 for 220
“It could allow as few as 20 representatives to control the votes of 220,” he said on Twitter. “This is not the representative democracy our founders envisioned or what our Constitution allows.”
He revealed in the 231-year history of the U.S. Congress neither the House nor the Senate have ever allowed a representative to vote by proxy on the floor.
“Through the Civil War; through the burning of the Capitol during the War of 1812 and the terrorist attack on Washington on 9/11; and through the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793; and the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the Congress of the United States has never before flinched from its constitutional duty to assemble at the nation’s capital and conduct the people’s business in times of national peril and crisis,” he said in a statement. “So it was for more than two centuries, until now.”
Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) believes the nation’s forefathers would not want representatives to lead the country in self-isolation, rather to assemble in their respective chambers and vote on all matters regardless of whether it is as mundane as naming a bridge or significant as declaring war.
“Madame Speaker Pelosi’s proxy voting scheme is completely unconstitutional,” he said in a statement. “No American has ever voted for congressional representation by a plastic digital card, we vote for human beings; we expect to be represented by human beings; we will ultimately prevail in our determined effort to block the Democrats proxy voting plan and their overall strategy to dehumanize America.”