A proposal that would permit lawmakers to vote by proxy is off the table, The Hill reports.
House Democrats planned to put forward the remote voting option on Thursday despite criticism from Republicans.
Now, the vote is off the table. Instead, the House will ask a bipartisan group to study the issue to appease both parties.
The bipartisan group tasked with reviewing how to resume House business during the coronavirus outbreak will include House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and the chairs and ranking Republicans of the Rules and Administration committees, according to The Hill.
The proposed rule change put forth by House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern would allow virtual committee hearings and proxy voting, in which absent members could authorize members physically present in the Capitol to cast votes on their behalf.
House GOP leaders issued a notice on Tuesday urging members to vote against the proposal, before the text of the resolution had been released around 2 a.m. Wednesday.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., the top Republican on the House Rules Committee who will now be in the bipartisan group reviewing remote voting options, said lawmakers should still come to the Capitol in person to vote.
"I believe we already have existing tools to continue the people’s work without introducing brand-new, constitutionally untested processes that risk erosion of our normal practice. For even a temporary measure to deal with a crisis today becomes the precedent we follow tomorrow," Cole said in a statement on Wednesday.
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