Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has been crafting legislation on her own and forcing it through the House without formal sessions. But with a plan for proxy voting now in place, it seems Republicans have seen enough.
Breitbart reported Tuesday that a number of House Republicans, led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), have slapped Pelosi with a lawsuit over what they call an “unconstitutional power grab” by the House speaker.
Pelosi’s power grab
During a time of crisis, elected representatives need to be doing whatever they can to help Americans weather the storm. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the House hasn’t been meeting — and Speaker Pelosi has enjoyed pushing through legislation with little resistance.
In fact, she is now allowing proxy voting — a process that would let one member of Congress vote for as many as 10 other members — and Republicans, who believe this violates the Constitution, aren’t pleased.
According to Breitbart, McCarthy et al. filed a suit accusing Pelosi of engaging in a massive “power grab.”
“This week, House Democrats will break over 230 years of precedent and allow Members of Congress to vote by proxy on the House floor,” McCarthy wrote of the suit, as Breitbart reported. “This is not simply arcane parliamentary procedure. It is a brazen violation of the Constitution, a dereliction of our duty as elected officials, and would silence the American people’s voice during a crisis.”
The minority leader went on:
Although I wish this matter could have been solved on a bipartisan basis, the stakes are too high to let this injustice go unaddressed. That is why, along with other members of the House and our constituents, I have filed a lawsuit in federal court to overturn Speaker Pelosi’s unconstitutional power grab.
Indeed, although they aren’t front-line health care workers, members of our legislature are essential — and they should be reporting to work. They’re still paid, after all.
What’s more, there are plenty of measures that can be taken to ensure our elected officials’ safety, but it seems Democrat leadership is unwilling to budge.
Instead, the power of the entire House of Representatives rests in the hands of less than two dozen people.
To be clear, we have had circumstances similar to this in the past — from the Spanish Flu to the Civil War — but the House has never allowed proxy voting.
To quote McCarthy, this is simply “unacceptable.” We can’t let Pelosi continue pushing her partisan schemes.