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New House vote-by-proxy measure sets off screaming alarms as Pelosi gobbles power

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi essentially told members of Congress they don’t need to show up for work anymore and she will take care of voting for them.

The California Democrat led members of the House to pass legislation on Friday that allows lawmakers to stay home and vote by proxy during the coronavirus pandemic. The unprecedented bill coincided with the approval of a massive $3 trillion coronavirus stimulus package that has objecting Republicans reeling.


(Source: Fox News)

Rep. Steve Scalise condemned the “power grab” as “unconstitutional” during a panel discussion on Fox News, warning House members who voted in favor of proxy voting that they will have to face their constituents and explain why they “just voted to give your voting card to Nancy Pelosi.”

“This is going to be a tough vote for them to explain,” the House Minority Whip and GOP representative for Louisiana told former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who was filling in as host on “Hannity” Friday.

“You now signed on for San Francisco values, and by the way, what are you doing there? Why are you collecting a paycheck if you want Nancy Pelosi to vote for you and represent your district?” Scalise said, adding that the bill “goes against Article I of the Constitution” by allowing 20 Democrats who are not present to make up a quorum on the House floor.

If it were to become law, the bill would, for the first time in the House’s 231-year history, allow a member to name a colleague to vote on their behalf. The member acting as a proxy, in addition, can represent up to 10 lawmakers under the new rule.

Scalise vowed the measure will be legally “challenged” if Democrats attempt to pass any bills using the new rules. He called out the “fallacy” of Democrats’ contention that it is unsafe for members to return to Washington, pointing out that the Senate is back in session and many states have begun to reopen their economies.

“For any of those folks that voted for this bill today, how do they go back home and explain today they voted to allow Nancy Pelosi to vote for them so that they don’t have to go to work anymore? Then why don’t they resign their seat and send somebody up here who wants to come and fight for restoring the American Dream up here in Washington,” Scalise said.

California Rep. Kevin McCarthy slammed Democrats for going “crazy” during a floor speech on Friday.

Rep. Lee Zeldin told the Fox News panel Friday that any House members and leaders who view themselves or the House of Representatives as “non-essential” should “step aside,” as Pelosi has been pushing for members to physically remain away until late July.

“We should be here. We shouldn’t be AWOL. We shouldn’t be going home right now,” the New York Republican said. “There’s important work to do for the American people, for our economy, for businesses, for workers.”

Pelosi also pushed through a staggering relief package aimed at dealing with the economic fallout and health emergencies brought about by the pandemic. With a handful of Democrats breaking ranks and voting against the bill, and one Republican, Rep. Peter King of New York, voting in favor, the legislation passed along party lines with a  208-199 vote.

“This isn’t a bill that was drafted through bipartisanship, vetting, debates, compromise,” Zeldin said Friday, noting that the 1,00-page bill “gives stimulus checks to people who are illegally in our country, massive prison release.”

“It legalizes throughout America ballot-harvesting, it outlaws voter ID. It extends unemployment in a way that’s going to keep people out of work for almost another year,” he added, arguing that Pelosi chose a “hyperpartisan path to nowhere” in order to “appease her left flank” and rather than work with President Trump and Republican colleagues.

Zeldin characterized the bill as a “strategic failure” and promised it would be “dead on arrival” when it reaches the GOP-controlled Senate.

Arizona GOP Rep. Andy Gibbs slammed Pelosi’s proxy voting bill in an opinion piece published by Fox News Friday, saying “Americans should be outraged and frightened” by the measure which passed with a 217-189 vote and adding that “there is rarely a ‘temporary duration to any new centralization of power.”

“Why do Democrats think that members of Congress are more entitled to remain in the comforts of our homes to discharge our constitutional responsibilities?” he asked, noting that the measure allows House members to “vote from the comfort of our air-conditioned living rooms and avoid any questions from reporters or constituents.”

“Under the new rule change, we can’t make parliamentary inquiries to ask questions of the chair about the bills we are voting on. We also can’t make a motion to adjourn the House. These two important changes severely handicap the already fading rights of the minority party,” he wrote on the “unwarranted” legislation.

“Pelosi and House Democrats have sent a horrific message to Americans in the midst of a national crisis,” Biggs added, concluding that he will “be in Washington on a regular basis, waiting for Speaker Pelosi and my Democratic colleagues to join me to perform the business our constituents expect of us.”

Frieda Powers

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