According to multiple news outlets, House Republicans are planning a federal lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy People over a recent rule change which allows one member of Congress to serve as the proxy vote for up to 10 members of Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the lawsuit, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, will involve almost two dozen legislators, including GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney and Minority Whip Steve Scalise.
In a tweet, McCarthy confirmed the planned lawsuit, and slammed Pelosi’s “voting scheme” that allows 20 representatives “to control the votes of 220.”
He tweeted: “I just filed a lawsuit in federal court to overturn Speaker Pelosi’s unconstitutional proxy voting scheme. It could allow as few as 20 Representatives to control the votes of 220. This is NOT the representative democracy our Founders envisioned or what our Constitution allows.”
Earlier in the month, the House cast its votes to decide if Speaker Pelosi could temporarily change the voting rules, with Pelosi stating, “if some people should stay home because of a health issue — thank you for not sharing. We’d rather you do stay home. And if transportation is difficult in that regard we want their voices to be heard.”
According to reports by The Daily Wire, three Democrats voted against the bill and zero Republicans voted for it. However Congressman Francis Rooney, who was who was not present on the day of the vote, later stated that he supported the move.
After Pelosi enacted the change, the clerk’s office received letters from 56 members of Congress choosing other members to serve as their proxies. “Members designated as proxies may only cast votes on behalf of other members once they have received separate exact instruction with respect to each vote,” the clerk’s office stated.
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed Democrats for “playing games with the Constitution so they can continue their never ending spring break well into July” during his speech on the Senate floor.
“Since the early days of this crisis, the self-described ‘People’s House’ has been suspiciously empty of people. I understand they’ve convened for legislative session a grand total of two days — two — in the last eight weeks,” he said.
He added: “But there’s a new wrinkle: House Democrats jammed through a precedent-breaking remote voting scheme that will let one member cast ten additional votes. There will be enormous constitutional questions around anything the House does if they fail to demonstrate a real quorum but plow ahead anyhow.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer sent out a memo saying: “new proxy voting system has been developed to afford members greater flexibility to safely record their votes during this national pandemic.”