On Friday, the House of Representatives passed a historic new rule allowing members to vote remotely as a safety precaution against the coronavirus pandemic. The basic system will be that members who are not present can transmit a document to the House clerk authorizing another member who is present to cast their vote for them.
But several House Republicans took to Twitter to proclaim the whole thing was a sinister conspiracy to give Democrats more power. Despite the fact that the provision contains clear rules requiring any representative to authorize another to cast their vote, they claimed it would somehow lead to corruption:
Congressional rules can be confusing, but this proxy voting scheme is simple: it would undo centuries of precedent… https://t.co/uoXUGtAcqV— Rep. Mike Gallagher (@Rep. Mike Gallagher)1589586385.0
The Democrats' proxy voting scheme is a clear abuse of power. Voting is the core responsibility members are elected… https://t.co/bAlQxgmixU— Gary Palmer (@Gary Palmer)1589586183.0
When our constituents chose us to be their voice, there wasn’t a caveat that we would sit at home, collect a payche… https://t.co/ZsJd5aV6Ld— Virginia Foxx (@Virginia Foxx)1589586717.0
Congress has continued to meet and vote through 200 years of crises - the Civil War, the Spanish flu, the 9/11 atta… https://t.co/CsBw8ippLr— John Joyce (@John Joyce)1589586494.0
One Republican lawmaker, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-PA), went so far as to demand the Senate not take up any bill passed using this rule.
The House just consolidated all its power into the hands of 22 Democrats by allowing proxy voting - inviting massiv… https://t.co/cgCj2iChRA— Rep. Barry Loudermilk (@Rep. Barry Loudermilk)1589585875.0
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) cast it as a way for Democrats to avoid doing their job — even though millions of Americans in the private sector are also currently doing their jobs remotely.
🚨 BREAKING 🚨 Democrat lawmakers just passed a loophole that allows them to keep getting paid, even if they don't sh… https://t.co/FpQJvTm2q1— Kevin McCarthy (@Kevin McCarthy)1589585848.0