House

Pelosi extends House proxy voting until March 30

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) addresses reporters during her weekly press conference on Wednesday, February 9, 2022.
Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told colleagues on Thursday that proxy voting in the chamber will be extended until March 30.

Proxy voting was previously set to expire on Sunday under a past extension issued by Pelosi. It was first put in place in May 2020 as a safety measure during the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing her decision, Pelosi cited a letter from the House sergeant-at-arms saying in consultation with the Office of the Attending Physician that the public health emergency due to COVID-19 “remains in effect.”

Under the rules Democrats first adopted in 2020, proxy voting is only allowed for 45 days at a time unless the Speaker authorizes an extension, which requires confirmation from the House sergeant-at-arms and Capitol physician that there is still a public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proxy voting has been challenged by Republicans, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) claiming in a lawsuit against Pelosi that allowing members to cast floor votes without being physically present in the chambers is unconstitutional.

The suit was rejected by lower courts, which said they did not have the authority to make decisions regarding House rules, and in January the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from McCarthy.

The Supreme Court did not explain its decision not to take up the case or say how many justices had voted against hearing it.

“Members of Congress should show up to work on behalf of their constituents, just as they have since our nation was founded,” a spokesman for McCarthy said following the Supreme Court decision.

“We can’t rely on a separate branch of government to make Congress do their jobs as intended by the Constitution, and if Republicans earn back the majority, proxy voting will be eliminated on Day One,” he added.

Tags Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi Proxy voting United States House of Representatives
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