Four of the Republican Party's most extreme House lawmakers have submitted signed letters claiming they must vote by proxy due to the ongoing health crisis, the coronavirus pandemic. But as CNN's Manu Raju reports, all four are in sunny Florida attending or even speaking at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.
"Several Republicans in the House have skipped Friday's votes and enlisted their colleagues to vote on their behalf, signing letters saying they couldn't attend 'due to the ongoing public health emergency.' But those members are scheduled to be at CPAC," Raju reports.
"The members include Rep. Matt Gaetz," Raju adds, "as well as some of Trump's staunchest defenders who are listed as speakers, like Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Ted Budd of North Carolina."
The letters say: "I am unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency." The House has had several votes on Friday and is scheduled to take up the $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill in the evening
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 26, 2021
Here's Rep. Matt Gaetz on Thursday at CPAC, apparently unconcerned about the coronavirus as he walks maskless in the halls laughing with supporters:
Rep. Matt Gaetz taking pictures with fans pic.twitter.com/jBQ0DSYOQe
— William Turton (@WilliamTurton) February 26, 2021
Republicans were initially vehemently opposed to voting by proxy when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi approved it. But now they are abusing the procedure, and apparently lying to invoke it.