Speaker Nancy Pelosi has faced intense backlash since the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed a measure to change longstanding rules requiring in-person voting to allow a vote by proxy.
House Republicans staunchly opposed the rule change and are going after Pelosi in a big way for her stunt.
As noted by the Washington Times, North Carolina GOP Rep. Ted Budd has filed legislation that would withhold the pay of any member who casts a vote without being present.
The basic premise of Budd’s bill is 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 congressman’s office issued a press release announcing his No Pay for Proxy Voting Act, which would temporarily withhold the pay of members that take advantage of the new proxy rule to cast votes without actually being present in the House chamber.
“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 was joined by at least six co-sponsors for his bill, including fellow North Carolina Republicans Dan Bishop and David Rouzer and Reps. Jack Bergman (R-MI), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), John Curtis (R-UT), Alex Mooney (R-WV), and Bill Posey (R-FL).
House Republicans are revolting against Pelosi over this.
Late last month, House Republicans filed a lawsuit against Pelosi to block the proxy voting put in place during the coronavirus on the grounds that it is illegal and unconstitutional.
The rule allows each lawmaker present in the chamber to vote for up to 10 absent colleagues as long as the intentions of those voting by proxy are transmitted electronically and in writing to the House clerk and to the voting lawmaker.
In other words, House members can vote on another person’s behalf if they are not able to be physically present at the Capitol.
GOP lawmakers argue that lawmakers should and must be present to cast a vote for themselves.
House Republicans also warn that proxy voting creates a system where too much power is given to only a few members.
Republicans opposed the change and said the House can operate safely.
The GOP-controlled Senate returned to regular business in early May and has been operating under social distancing guidelines.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise sounded the alarm on the rules change, saying the move is unconstitutional and puts members who represent swing districts in a bind.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the rule allowing a remote quorum raises constitutional questions and may be illegal.