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House Republicans escalate proxy-voting fight with bill to deny pay to lawmakers who participate

Fox News

A group of House Republican lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday that would withhold pay for members of Congress who vote by proxy, as the battle over how measures are voted on amid the coronavirus pandemic continues to intensify.

The proposed legislation, led by Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., would deny a day’s pay for each day a congressional lawmaker either votes by proxy or has a proxy record their presence in the House for a quorum.

GOP members of Congress have raised alarms over the temporary voting system and filed a lawsuit earlier this week against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House clerk and the sergeant-at-arms over the plan, calling it unconstitutional.Vide

“Outsourcing the duty of a member of Congress is unconstitutional and wrong,” Budd said in a statement. “House members should not be allowed to send someone else to do their jobs for them.”

The bill is co-sponsored by GOP Reps. Dan Bishop and David Rouzer, both of North Carolina, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Jack Bergman of Michigan, John Curtis of Utah, Bill Posey of Florida and Alex Mooney from West Virginia.

The Hosue made history Wednesday when it conducted its first proxy vote in its 231-year history. Lawmakers voted 413-1 to impose sanctions on Chinese officials for the treatment of Uighur Muslims in China.

The Democrat-led House voted along party lines earlier this month to allow a proxy vote arrangement, meaning allowing House members to vote on another person’s behalf if they chose to avoid the risks of traveling to Washington, D.C.

Republicans argue the Constitution requires a quorum, or a majority, of lawmakers to be present to vote on matters.

“In the real world, if you don’t show up for your job, you don’t get paid. The same principle should apply to our country’s representatives. If they don’t come to work, they shouldn’t receive their taxpayer-funded paycheck,” Budd said.

Pelosi called the lawsuit a “sad stunt” intended to “delay and obstruct urgently-needed action to meet the needs of American workers and families during the coronavirus crisis.”