Despite pushback from the other side of the aisle, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is doubling down on one of her most divisive pandemic-related House rules.
Even as COVID-19 infection rates remain low and the vaccination rate continues to rise, Pelosi announced this week that she would extend remote voting provisions for members of Congress until Aug. 17.
“Remains in effect”
The allowance for remote voting and virtual hearings had been set to expire on July 3, according to the Washington Examiner.
House Republicans have consistently called for a return to normal rules, but it seems clear that the Democratic leader is reluctant to give in on repealing the restrictive health precautions.
Of course, her reticence to restore normality to the congressional chamber is seen by her critics on the right as another sign that she and her party are effectively ignoring reality.
Pelosi and other prominent Democrats act as if the nation is still mired in the worst days of the pandemic when all signs point to the end of the ongoing public health crisis.
For her part, however, the speaker pointed to a memo from House Sergeant at Arms William Walker, who declared that “the public health emergency due to the novel coronavirus remains in effect.”
COVID-19 rules still enforced
It was unclear exactly why the existing restrictions are now set to remain in place for two more months.
In addition to the remote-voting provision, Pelosi is also still enforcing a mask mandate for those on the House floor — despite updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pelosi continues to dig into the same position she has taken since the early months of the pandemic, possibly because she knows her career is coming to an end and she seeks to cling onto every scrap of power she can.
In any case, the ongoing restrictions in place on Capitol Hill are sure to add to the prevailing conservative narrative that Pelosi is out of touch.
For those of her constituents who agree with that assessment, the best course of action is to cast a vote in next year’s midterm election that would send her into retirement.