Dem Resolution Would Let 'Mobile Congress' Cast Votes From Home

Monday, 01 Jul 2013 03:46 PM

By Dan Weil

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Freshman Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., introduced a resolution Friday to permit congressmen to vote on bills from their home districts.

The resolution was co-sponsored by Republican Reps. Steve Pearce of New Mexico and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.

Swalwell says the change would modernize how Congress works and enable legislators to spend more time with their constituents, The Hill reports. His district lies just north of Silicon Valley's core.

The resolution would allow lawmakers to vote remotely on bills that require a two-thirds House majority to pass. The resolution also would allow congressmen and witnesses to engage in Washington committee hearings through video conferencing. That, of course, would save travel to the nation's capital.

"Companies and families across the country are using technology to communicate remotely. There is no reason that the legislative branch of the world's oldest democracy cannot do the same," Swalwell said in a statement.

"Our bill will allow Members of Congress to work more efficiently and stay better connected to our constituents. It’s time to upgrade Congress to the 21st century."

Pearce introduced his own resolution for virtual votes, debates, and hearings in March. "Members of Congress can debate, vote, and carry out their constitutional duties without having to leave the accountability and personal contact of their congressional districts," he said in a statement.


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