GOP lawsuit against proxy voting could complicate PPP vote
Republican leaders sued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and top congressional officials on Tuesday to block the House of Representatives from using a proxy voting system set up by Democrats to allow for remote legislating during the coronavirus pandemic, calling it unconstitutional, The New York Times reported.
The lawsuit raises questions about whether the House will be able to vote Thursday on the Payroll Protection Flexibility Act, which contains provisions that the restaurant industry says will help them deal with COVID-19 related problems. The bill has bipartisan sponsorship and support in the House.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said late Tuesday, “This Republican lawsuit is about one thing only: forcing the House to stop doing its job and prevent it from helping the American people get through this crisis.”
“The Constitution gives each chamber of Congress the ability to set its own rules, and the courts have given us wide latitude to do so,” Hoyer said.
“The rule change to allow remote voting in order to maintain public health fits within those bounds. We should not endanger public health when technology can enable us to meet remotely — just as Senate committees, the Supreme Court, and businesses and schools across the country have done over the past few weeks.
“By suing to keep the people’s House from safely being able to do the people’s work, House Republicans are engaged in yet another attempt to shut down our government, this time during a national emergency when Americans need it working the most. With nearly 100,000 deaths, over 1.6 million infections, and nearly 40 million Americans filing for unemployment assistance in the last nine weeks, Republicans should end this attempt to distract from their inaction and instead work on a bipartisan basis to deliver urgent assistance to the public.”
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The House passed S.4054, the Grain Standards Reauthorization Act of 2020, by voice vote.