In-person voting now required in US House: Kevin McCarthy

"No more proxy voting," McCarthy said. "Effective immediately, Members of Congress have to show up to work if they want their vote to count."

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
On Thursday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced the official end of proxy voting, which allowed members of Congress to cast their votes remotely via a colleague.

The practice was put in place by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in May 2020 to enable government officials to work remotely through the pandemic.

"No more proxy voting," McCarthy wrote on Twitter. "Effective immediately, Members of Congress have to show up to work if they want their vote to count."

The decision to get rid of proxy voting was made earlier in the month alongside a host of other measures aimed at returning the legislative process back to an in-person format.

At a press conference on January 10, Rep. Steve Scalise announced the end of virtual committee hearings, which had become the norm over the past couple of years.

"Committees can't be meeting in these Bradybox-style boxes where nobody's in a room and everybody's in some remote location and you can't even discuss an amendment," he said. "We're gonna be back in person again."

Many Republicans expressed outrage when the policy was first introduced, arguing that it would permit lawmakers to neglect their duties, however as the pandemic raged on, it became clear that the option was needed.

According to Fox News, 70 percent of the 160 Republicans who originally signed on to a McCarthy-led lawsuit in 2020 asking the Supreme Court to challenge proxy voting had utilized the practice by 2021.

McCarthy made his intention to end proxy voting clear in December, noting that the Senate had managed to conduct in-person voting during most of the pandemic.

"From the get-go," he added, "we warned that proxy voting would be misused as a means of convenience rather than as a precaution for health — and it has been, by members of both parties."

Many Democrats took advantage of proxy voting to leave Washington and conduct campaign rallies, while some Republicans, including Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, voted by proxy to attend CPAC.


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