McConnell blocks Paul's proposal on emergency remote voting

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senators confident Trump pick to be confirmed by November Trump's Teflon problem: Nothing sticks, including the 'wins' Senate Republican says lawmakers can't 'boil down' what a Court nominee would do in one case like Roe v. Wade MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday blocked an attempt by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRon Paul hospitalized in Texas The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Rand Paul says he can't judge 'guilt or innocence' in Breonna Taylor case 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 DurbinGOP senators confident Trump pick to be confirmed by November Sunday Shows: Trump's court pick dominates Durbin: Democrats can 'slow' Supreme Court confirmation 'perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at most' MORE (D-Ill.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMcConnell locks down key GOP votes in Supreme Court fight Romney undecided on authorizing subpoenas for GOP Obama-era probes Congress needs to prioritize government digital service delivery MORE (R-Ohio) have offered their own rules change resolution. Sens. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP senators confident Trump pick to be confirmed by November Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election SCOTUS confirmation in the last month of a close election? Ugly MORE (R-Mo.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Social media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight 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 HoyerCentrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote House to vote on resolution affirming peaceful transition of power On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline MORE’s (D-Md.) office said in a notice to members.