I feel really really really sorry for the member-elects in the House of Representatives who have had to show up IN PERSON to do their job and vote for a Speaker of the House over and over again. And they aren’t even technically members. I wonder if they’re still getting paid? Hmmmm… I’m sure they have THAT covered within their rules.
But for now, they are just aspiring members….potential, eager, prospective, hopeful, would-be members of the House.
And even though they have been accused of bringing in the luxuries of blankies and popcorn and booze, they still don’t want to be there. They much prefer “phoning it in” like they were doing previously.
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In fact, “phoning” seems to be what they are doing most days when you watch them on CSPAN – texting and playing around on their smartphones. I guess there isn’t much else to do.
These politicians would much prefer voting by proxy. That’s what they did when they voted for the giant $1.7 trillion omnibus bill. According to Fox News, 227 of them had filed letters allowing them to be away from the Capitol on the day of the omnibus bill vote. 226 of them did just that. Stayed away.
Why? Because there is an ongoing pandemic, of course. But COVID-19 will ALWAYS be with us so when will this BS end? If they were really all that concerned about the coronavirus, I would see a sea of politicians in the House wearing masks the past few days. But, alas, that hasn’t happened.
The proxy voting rule went into effect back in May of 2020. Since then, many of the House members have found it very hard to show up in person. So much so that Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia has voted on behalf of his colleagues more than 2,251 times!
And he’s an old dude who is more at risk to get seriously ill if he catches the virus. He’s 72! What is the excuse of the younger representatives not showing up and asking HIM to vote for them? Laziness is my guess.
Beyer has cast votes for 38 of his colleagues.
But Beyer DOES enjoy voting and he’s only about 15 minutes away from the Capitol. He voted to impeach Trump SIX times. That includes his own votes and four proxy votes.
Members like Beyer who will vote for the others are allowing the lazy members to stay away from doing their jobs in person. Florida Democratic Reps Al Lawson and Frederica Wilson were reported in April as having only shown up to vote in person less than 7% of the time since proxy voting began. And the proxy voting is OVERWHELMINGLY used by Democrats but who is surprised by that??!!
So I’m sure you are wondering…Why are there no proxy votes for the Speaker of the House election? Because the procedure can only be used when the House adopts a rules package – which happens AFTER the Speaker election and AFTER the members take their oaths of office.
GOP has pledged to end the proxy voting when they take control of the House. Whenever that is.