House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday the House will begin using emergency proxy voting procedures it approved last week. The change is in effect for 45 days unless another emergency is declared.
The announcement means that when the House returns to Washington next week to vote on government surveillance programs and coronavirus legislation, lawmakers who stay home because of the health crisis will be able to designate other House members to vote for them.
Lawmakers in attendance may cast vote for as many as 10 of their peers under their colleagues’ written instructions.
The change was approved on a partisan vote in the Democratic-controlled chamber. Republicans have denounced the proxy voting plan, saying it consolidates power in the hands of leadership.
“The Founders would be ashamed,” Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said at the time. “This is not what they envisioned.”
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