House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reaffirmed his position on proxy voting Thursday morning, stating lawmakers “have to show up to work” instead of having someone else vote for them.
“No more proxy voting,” the speaker said Thursday morning on Twitter. “Effective immediately, Members of Congress have to show up to work if they want their vote to count.”
McCarthy, who already had a successful week as Speaker, reaffirmed his position on proxy voting, which was set in place after becoming Speaker and the House passing the rules package. The rules package was adopted on a slim 220-213 margin and did not include a provision for proxy voting to be allowed in the House, essentially putting an end to the major battle since it was adopted.
When the Democrat majority instituted the rule nearly three years ago, on May 15, 2020, supposedly due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, House Republicans were mainly in favor of changing the proxy voting rule.
Under the rule, members of Congress were allowed to proxy vote, which means that one member of the House could cast a vote on behalf of an absent member.
The rule was initially so business could be conducted without members having to be at the U.S. Capitol in person. But, it was quickly abused by lawmakers. Some lawmakers cited that they could not vote in person due to the “ongoing” pandemic, despite attending in-person campaign events, going on trips with the president, and even vacationing in Europe.
Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) joined McCarthy on Thursday, saying, “Members of Congress who don’t want to show up and vote should look for another line of work.”
She added, “There are too many issues facing the American people for Congress to be phoning it in – I’m glad proxy voting has come to an end!”