WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – Republicans in Congress have filed a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi because of the way Democrats have decided to vote on bills remotely.
For the first time, a group of House Democrats voted on legislation from home, prompting a lawsuit from the other side of the aisle.
“This challenges the constitution, only to protect and empower the Speaker,” Representative Kevin McCarthy, R-California, said.
House Republicans filed suit against Speaker Nancy Pelosi over proxy voting, a measure that allows lawmakers to designate a fellow House member to vote on their behalf.
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy says proxy voting violates the constitution and tradition.
“In 231 years, never have we seen a proxy vote before the House,” McCarthy said.
Republican Steve Scalise argues even during a pandemic, anything lawmakers vote on from home might become invalid.
“The constitution makes it clear we have to have a majority present for a quorum, to do business,” Representative Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, said.
More than half of California’s Democrats stayed home.
McCarthy says that leaves all of their constituents without a voice but the distant Democrats say they’re doing it to keep themselves and the public safe.
“It’s very important congress be able to adapt, to be safe while continuing to work hard,” Representative Katie Porter, D-California, said.
Democrat Katie Porter is one of the lawmakers voting from home.
She says her constituents don’t miss out when she votes by proxy.
“I’m in very close touch with my proxy. I’ll be sending her precise written instruction on exactly how I want her to vote,” Porter said.
On Tuesday, Speaker Pelosi responded to the lawsuit in a statement, calling it a sad stunt to delay urgent needed action for American workers and families.