Newt Gingrich blasts ‘precious politicians’ who want to wimp out of their jobs with remote proxy vote

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called out “precious politicians” who are avoiding getting back to Washington due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gingrich found it “bizarre” that some lawmakers would consider themselves any different from those who are working through the crisis, calling on them in tweets to get back to work or “resign.”

The comments from the Republican, who served as House Speaker from 1995 to 1999, came in the wake of the attempt to hold an unprecedented proxy vote in the House amid lawmakers’ fears of traveling to the nation’s capital during the coronavirus outbreak.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scrapped plans on a rules change last week that would have allowed proxy voting on legislation. Republicans slammed the idea, citing the potential for abuses. But Pelosi is reportedly pushing ahead with the idea this week, speaking along with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to Democratic lawmakers about it during a Monday conference call.

Her announcement that the House would return session on May 4 reportedly got severe pushback from Democrats who consider it dangerous for them to travel to and stay in Washington.

Gingrich blasted their complaining in his tweets on Sunday.

“Why should members of Congress be more precious than policemen, firemen, grocery clerks, doctors, nurses, truckers, and all the other people who are working through the pandemic,” he asked.

“This concept of ‘precious politicians’ is bizarre. If you don”t want to come to Washington resign!” Gingrich added.

He also called on “courageous citizens” who could rise to the occasion and do the job the lawmakers are afrais=d to do.

A proposal drafted last week by House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern to allow the remote voting indicated that lawmakers who are unable to vote in person could provide “a letter to the Clerk authorizing another Member to vote on their behalf and providing exact instruction, which must be followed, on how that Member should vote for each scheduled vote.”

“It’s clear that Democrats have no idea how to run the House during this critical time,” Mark Bednar, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, said, according to Politico. “Worse still, Democrats are now willing to sacrifice over 200 years of precedent to atone for their lack of planning and leadership.”

Other Republicans have also been opposed to the plan.

Twitter users also weighed in the issue after Gingrich slammed the “precious politicians.”

 

 

Frieda Powers

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