House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has a plan to push her partisan agenda through the lower chamber with just a handful of members of Congress present. But Republicans aren’t buying it.
According to Politico, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and nearly two dozen other GOP lawmakers are filing a lawsuit against Pelosi for violating the Constitution with her latest proxy voting plan.
“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, according to Breitbart.
He went on: “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.”
Unprecedented proxy scheme
At the heart of the lawsuit filed by McCarthy is Pelosi’s decision to allow proxy voting in Congress, rather than having a full session. By doing this, Pelosi holds the majority of the power in a single vote — something that Republicans believe is unconstitutional.
Indeed, this is something that has never been done before in the history of our Democratic Republic, even during the direst of times.
It was not used when Yellow Fever hit in the last 1700s; it was not used during the Civil War; it was not used during the Spanish Flu in the early 1900s; it was not used after 9/11.
Today, however, even with the coronavirus pandemic seemingly under control, Pelosi refused to bring the House back in session for the latest piece of legislation, even though it was the largest piece of legislation in the history of our country.
Pushing back on Pelosi
McCarthy, for his part, believes this was not only unconstitutional, but also a massive “power grab” by Pelosi. The House speaker, however, says what she did is perfectly legal.
“House Republicans’ sad stunt shows that their only focus is to delay and obstruct urgently needed action to meet the needs of American workers and families during the coronavirus crisis,” she said, according to Politico. (Of course, she failed to mention that many provisions in the HEROES Act will actually hurt American workers and help illegal immigrants.)
But while everyone appreciates McCarthy’s fight, it is unlikely he will win this battle in the courts. The Constitution states that “each House may determine the rules of its proceedings.”
Still, it is a fairly safe assumption that our Founders never envisioned a day when the House leader would change the rules when they weren’t even up for debate.