McConnell blocks Paul's proposal on emergency remote voting

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump vows to campaign against Murkowski after senator's criticism Senate advances conservation fund bill, House introduces companion Paul clashes with Booker, Harris over anti-lynching bill MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday blocked an attempt by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPaul clashes with Booker, Harris over anti-lynching bill Rand Paul holding up quick passage of anti-lynching bill Democratic senator to offer amendment halting 'military weaponry' given to police MORE (R-Ky.) to allow for temporary remote voting as the House prepares to take up its own proposal this week.

Paul, speaking from the Senate floor, argued that Congress should either return to session or allow for remote voting to be temporarily available during emergencies.

"If there exists too much danger to have Congress meet in person, we should allow emergency voting remotely," Paul said from the floor.


But McConnell objected to Paul's attempt to pass his resolution, which would allow for any senator to try to get up to a 30-day temporary approval for remote voting.

"Senator Rand Paul offered an amendment to allow remote voting if necessary. He believes Congress should at once return into session, if not remote voting should be available during emergencies," said Sergio Gor, a spokesman for Paul.

McConnell and other members of GOP leadership have indicated that they remain opposed to remote voting. The Senate is currently in the middle of a five-week break sparked by the coronavirus, but before members left, the GOP leader shot down a question about allowing for senators to vote from outside the Capitol.

“We’ll not be doing that. There are a number of different ways to avoid getting too many people together,” McConnell told reporters

Instead, the GOP leader implemented social distancing techniques, including allowing for longer votes and encouraging members not to linger on the Senate floor. The effort was met with mixed success, as several senators were spotted standing shoulder to shoulder or chatting in tight groups.


Paul's attempt to implement remote voting comes as Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGraham postpones Russia probe subpoena vote as tensions boil over Senate panel sends Trump appeals court pick to floor in party-line vote Democrats aim to amend Graham subpoena to include Trump allies MORE (D-Ill.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump| Esper orders hundreds of active-duty troops outside DC sent home day after reversal | Iran releases US Navy veteran Michael White Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump Portman: Trump should shift 'tone' amid criticism over response to protests MORE (R-Ohio) have offered their own rules change resolution. Sens. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntCalls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress Washington prepares for a summer without interns GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill MORE (R-Mo.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Conspiracy theories run rampant online amid Floyd protests | First lawsuit filed against Trump social media order | Snapchat to no longer promote Trump's account Derek Chauvin charge upgraded to second-degree murder; other officers charged Democratic lawmakers push leadership to ensure college students have internet access MORE (D-Minn.), the chairman and top Democrat on the Senate Rules Committee, are also working on a deal on remote hearings.

House Democratic leadership, meanwhile, has embraced the idea of voting by proxy.
The House is expected to vote this week on changing its rules to allow members to vote remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The House is expected to vote on a rules change related to remote voting by proxy,” House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerPelosi: Democrats to unveil sweeping criminal justice proposal Monday Calls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress Hoyer wins Maryland House primary MORE’s (D-Md.) office said in a notice to members.