On Wednesday, Congressman Ron Wright (R-TX) joined Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, members of the House GOP Conference, and American citizens in challenging the constitutionality of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to vote by proxy.
The House held the first proxy vote in Congress’ history on Wednesday, with 72 Democrats casting votes in this fashion. These members of Congress designated a present colleague to announce their vote. Until Wednesday, only members present in the House chamber could cast votes on legislation and procedural business.
Republicans contend that voting by proxy runs counter to the purpose of the House, in which elected representatives speak on behalf of their own constituents.
“If my colleagues on the other side of the aisle expect our truckers, grocers, farmers, and health care workers to go into work every day, they should do the same,” Wright said in a statement. “Instead, Democrats jammed through a rule change allowing 22 Members of Congress to be the voice for 330 million Americans, upending 200 years of precedent, not to mention the severe constitutional repercussions. Allowing our coworkers to do our job for us in Washington sets a wrong and dangerous precedent for this institution.”
Wright maintains that proxy voting is a clear violation of minority rights.
“Democrat Leadership does not represent my constituents or the country as a whole and they shouldn’t be able to unilaterally make decisions that will enable them to further consolidate their power and undermine the fabric of our democracy,” Wright said. “House Republicans put forward a bipartisan plan that establishes a safe and effective way for Congress to continue doing the work of the American people in Washington during the COVID-19 pandemic, only to be shut down by Democrats.
“This is not what our founders had in mind when they created the greatest democracy on Earth. I cannot stand by and let the irresponsible leadership of House Democrats trample over the Constitution. I look forward to voting in person this week and getting back to work in our nation’s Capitol.”
Representing the plaintiffs are Chuck Cooper and Joel Alicea (lead counsel), and Elliott Berke (outside counsel). The suit is being filed in the D.C. Federal District Court to enjoin the use of proxy voting.