Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats have had some harebrained schemes in the past but this one truly takes the cake. Their latest stimulus bill proposal clocks in at a whopping $3 trillion! While the bill passed in the House, it is expected to receive a great deal of opposition from the Senate.
Of course, there is no shortage of issues that need to be addressed about this bill. In fact, there are too many for us to even list. Our main issue is a simple one. The Democrats tried to use this bill to sneak in a rule change that they thought no one would notice. This is Pelosi’s favorite maneuver.
We all remember the annoyances that were associated with the first stimulus bill that was passed. Pelosi also tried to use that proposed bill as a Trojan horse for the laws that she really wanted passed. Now, she is trying to make sure that proxy votes can be passed on the House bill.
This particular maneuver is especially pointless because the new rule is only going to be put into place for a period of 45 days. If the bill actually passes, there is even a provision that has been included that would allow Congress to take a 60-day vacation. The proxy vote rule that Pelosi is trying to pass could even be renewed every 45 days if it is successful.
As The New York Post has already reported, this is not exactly a partisan move. There is no Republican who is willing to support the move from Pelosi and understandably so. To make matters even worse for the House Speaker, she cannot even get all of the members of her own party on board with the idea. That just goes to show you what a silly idea this actually is.
The Democratic-held House on Friday authorized proxy voting for the first time in its history, due to the coronavirus pandemic — disregarding Republican claims that the change is unconstitutional and unwise.
The reform was adopted in a near-party-line 217-189 vote, with all Republicans opposed and joined in their nay votes by three Democrats and Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.
Under the new rules, lawmakers can vote on behalf of up to 10 colleagues if they have written letters authorizing them to do so.
Proxy voting may have been authorized in the meantime but that does not mean that anything will come of this plan. It’s just another attempt from Pelosi to circumvent the democracy that we all hold so dear. The Democrats are always the first party to come up with these sorts of plans and it is obvious to see what the endgame is here.
The Republicans have claimed that the rule change is not constitutional. Lawmakers are going to be given the chance to vote on behalf of their colleagues, as long as they are not going over a certain amount. 10 is the limit, as of now. Written letters have to be provided so that the proper authorization can be granted.
Real-time remote voting is a good plan for the moment but who knows how it is going to work over the long haul? There are going to be times when members of the House are unable to make it back in time for a vote. In some cases, members of the House may need to remain in quarantine after being exposed to someone who has contracted the coronavirus.
Teleconferencing is helpful these days and no one would argue with that. This is what can keep proxy voting from becoming the new normal. Members should have a system in place so that they are able to vote from their homes and offices as needed. The proxy measure has been designed to self expire and the teleconferencing measures could be set up in the same way.
If one member is given the chance to cast 11 votes at a time, it won’t take long before the voting process is corrupted beyond belief. The member who is responsible for casting the votes could have the best of intentions and it would not matter. It’s only a matter of time before someone decides that they are going to “bend the rules”, too.
The House does not have any provisions in place that can reel voters back in. Punishments could be meted out based on the severity of various violations but what happens if the vote has already been hijacked? It’s kind of hard to get the horse back into the barn when the barn doors have been left open for a significant length of time. The course of history could be changed forever by a decision like this.
In a perfect world, all of America’s elected representatives would be able to show up on time and perform their usual duties. Sadly, the world that we are living in right now is far from perfect. Remote voting is probably the best option that we have available and it will keep us from experiencing any of the unwanted consequences of Pelosi’s decision.