Pelosi extends House proxy vote period through Aug. 12

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Pelosi extends House proxy vote period through Aug. 12

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has once again extended the chamber’s proxy voting period — permitting members of both parties to submit their votes remotely until mid-August. 

The order — which was first implemented in May 2020 — permits House members to designate a colleague to submit their vote on the floor for them.

While the order was meant to allow lawmakers to take health precautions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, dozens of members have taken advantage of the policy to vote remotely while handing other business — with New York Democrat Mondaire Jones submitting his votes from the French Riviera

Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the extension on Friday, citing a letter from House Sergeant-At-Arms William J. Walker stating that the public health emergency due to COVID-19 “remains in effect.” 

While the order is intended to allow members of the House to take COVID-19 safety precautions, members of both parties have been taking advantage of it for personal gain.
While the order is intended to allow members of the House to take COVID-19 safety precautions, members of both parties have been taking advantage of it for personal gain.
Nancy Pelosi

The order — initially set to expire on June 28 — will stay in place until Aug. 12, unless the speaker extends it again, as she has done several times in recent months

The Senate has not permitted remote voting throughout the pandemic. 

Earlier this month, The Post found that Jones voted by proxy at least 17 times between July 19 and July 27 last summer while attending HBO star Issa Rae’s wedding in France. 

“I am unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency, and I hereby grant the authority to cast my vote by proxy to the Honorable Nikema Williams (Georgia), who has agreed to serve as my proxy,” he wrote alongside his signature.

Pelosi announced the extension on Friday, saying that the public health emergency remains in effect.
Pelosi announced the extension on Friday, saying that the public health emergency remains in effect.
REUTERS

Jones sent another letter to the House clerk last week with the same request, using almost the exact same language. 

As of Friday, the New York Democrat did not have any active letters, though the House clerk’s office listed 87 requests from other members — including from Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), John Katko (R-NY), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Tom Rice (R-SC).

Other lawmakers who have abused the policy include Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), who voted by proxy in order to file paperwork to run for mayor of Los Angeles; Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), who reportedly submitted the paperwork to attend a Senate campaign event in Alabama; and House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who voted by proxy on the same day she appeared at a fundraising event with former President Donald Trump in Florida. 

Proxy voting has been heavily criticized by Republicans in the House — despite their repeated use of the policy — most notably by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who attempted to challenge the order in the Supreme Court. 

While the court ultimately rejected the challenge in January, McCarthy has repeatedly vowed that proxy voting will end if Republicans take back the House majority in November.

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