With news that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is extending proxy voting until August 18, supposedly due to coronavirus concerns, Republicans are more convinced than ever that she has ulterior motives. Under the rule, a lawmaker can serve as a proxy for up to 10 colleagues if those colleagues cannot physically get to Washington during the pandemic.
"It's shadow voting," GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Fox News on Tuesday. "What it is is giving all your votes to Nancy Pelosi."
Constituents who voted for their members of Congress now must realize that they no longer have the power because they "turned it over" to the speaker, he added.
Dozens of Democrat Representatives are getting paid for NOT working. They are staying home, skipping votes, and still collecting a paycheck from taxpayers.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) June 30, 2020
It's called shadow voting, and it's Nancy Pelosi's way of consolidating power for herself. pic.twitter.com/FiSkrEVjTW
Meanwhile, he charged, Democrats are staying home and "getting paid for not working." Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) shared that sentiment.
?? BREAKING ? Nancy Pelosi just unilaterally extended her proxy voting scheme for ANOTHER 45 DAYS.— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) June 29, 2020
As Americans get back to work, Dems extend their free pass to skip work altogether while a few Members vote multiple times for districts they don't even represent.
House Republicans filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the practice.
Meanwhile, McCarthy observed that Democrats like Charlie Crist (D-FL) haven't shown up to the Capitol, but they've still made time for other pursuits.
"Charlie Crist said he was unable to come to Congress, but he got in a car and drove for two and a half hours to try to watch a launch of a spaceship," McCarthy said, laughing. "That's what he decided to do instead of represent his people?"
Looking forward to attending today’s historic manned @SpaceX launch to @Space_Station – the first from American soil since 2011 and first ever on a commercial spacecraft. Huge step for space exploration and Florida! pic.twitter.com/EHhF5U8F5M— Congressman Charlie Crist (@RepCharlieCrist) May 27, 2020