With rules in Congress always changing, the procedures of our Representative Democracy have changed forever. However, US Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL) seeks to end these changes, such as proxy voting.
Although proxy voting has been used and abused by members of both political parties, and is a relatively new concept, nobody considered challenging the process until 200 members of Congress did not show up for work in Washington, “yet their votes still count,” wrote Rutherford this week.
“No other profession in America could get away with this and still get paid. Proxy voting is no longer about COVID-19 and it must end,” stated Rep. Rutherford.
Rutherford since yesterday decided that he did not say enough about the topic, sending another Tweet that called out his colleagues and stood up for the integrity of the “democratic process,” adding, “This isn’t ‘remote work’ or ‘working from home.’ There’s no requirement to be present remotely. It’s simply having someone else do your job for you.”
The representative finally concluded, “It’s time to end proxy voting for good.” Critics quickly jumped on the congressman’s Twitter, calling attention to there being no requirement for a physical presence to vote, and even using his own attendance record against him.
The New Jersey Monitor recently discovered that since the practice has been available for this Congress, 171 Democrats and 89 Republicans have used the proxy vote system. Although fewer, Republicans have not been shy about using the proxy system with Florida GOP figures such as Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) and Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) both voting by proxy upwards of 70 and 100 times, respectively.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other Republicans have filed a lawsuit, asserting that voting by proxy was “unconstitutional,” last year.