Opinion

Resolution would allow ‘pajama voting’ by Congress

virtual congress
Photo Credit CNet.com

How great would it be if members of Congress could cast votes to screw the country while still in their pajamas, and once the dirty deed is done, just roll over and go back to sleep?

A resolution has been filed in the U.S. House of Representatives that would allow members to vote remotely on bills from their home districts.

The proposal for a mobile Congress would amend House rules so lawmakers can take advantage of the latest communication technologies and spend more time at home with their constituents, according to The Hill.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, introduced the resolution last week, along with Reps. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), before leaving Washington for the 4th of July holiday.

The resolution would create a secure, remote voting system so members could vote on bills that are being considered under a suspension of regular rules — bills that are usually noncontroversial and require a two-thirds majority in the House to pass, The Hill reported.

Lawmakers and witnesses could also participate in committee hearings held in Washington via videoconferencing technology, saving the time and expense of jetting to Washington.

Pearce introduced a similar resolution in March that would allow for the creation of a “Virtual Congress.” He believes letting lawmakers work from their districts would make them more accountable to their constituents, rather than corporate lobbyists.

“Thanks to modern technology, members of Congress can debate, vote, and carry out their constitutional duties without having to leave the accountability and personal contact of their congressional districts, Pearce told The Hill in a statement.

He added that this would “pull back Washington’s curtain and allow constituents to see and feel, first-hand, their government at work.”

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Tom Tillison

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