US lawmakers solid proxy votes for the primary time ever on Wednesday, in a contentious coronavirus-era process that has drawn sustained criticism from congressional Republicans.
Some 70 Democrats within the House of Representatives voted remotely on a measure condemning China’s human rights violations.
The use of proxies within the House — the Senate has not authorized such modifications — upends greater than 200 years of congressional precedent.
The new guidelines, handed this month alongside get together strains, will stay in place solely all through the coronavirus disaster.
The process goals to permit lawmakers to maintain working whereas serving to stop the unfold of a virus that has killed 100,000 individuals within the United States.
Democrats argue that it might jeopardize the lives of colleagues, employees and most people to require lawmakers to repeatedly fly between their residence states and Washington to convene in particular person throughout a well being emergency.
Republicans framed the change as an unconstitutional energy seize that might permit a small minority of lawmakers to regulate legislative motion in Congress.
Proxies might solid votes for a most of 10 colleagues within the 435-member physique.
“It could allow as few as 20 representatives to control the votes of 220,” McCarthy tweeted.
Currently, 218 votes are required for a majority within the House.
“This is NOT the representative democracy our Founders envisioned or what our Constitution allows,” McCarthy stated.
Republicans filed a lawsuit Tuesday in a bid to halt proxy voting. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi known as the transfer a “sad stunt.”
California Democrat Zoe Lofgren was the primary member to vote remotely.
Her proxy, Democrat Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania, approached a microphone and declared that, pursuant to the brand new guidelines, “I inform the House that Miss Lofgren will vote ‘Yea’.”
A handful of US lawmakers have already develop into contaminated with and recovered from COVID-19.
Many members put on masks within the House and Senate, and strict social distancing tips are in place throughout votes.
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