Washington, D.C. – Today, House Rules Committee Ranking Member Tom Cole (OK-04) joined House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) and House Administration Committee Ranking Member Rodney Davis (IL-13) in making the following statement in response to the Democrats’ partisan proposal to change centuries-old rules of the House:
"Across our nation, Americans of all stripes are making sacrifices and doing their part to defeat this virus – and they expect Washington to do the same.
"Unfortunately, far from being 'captains of this ship' as Speaker Pelosi recently proclaimed, the Democrats’ proposal calls for the House of Representatives to abandon ship – potentially for the remainder of the session.
"As we have said from the start, any change to centuries-old rules of the House should only be done in a bipartisan way that achieves consensus. This proposal fails that critical test and would forever alter our democratic institution for the worse.
"It creates a dangerous new definition of 'voting by proxy' that runs counter to past House committee precedent, current Senate committee practice, and the Constitution.
"It facilitates only legislative theater while enabling the most significant power grab in the history of Congress, leaving our constituents’ voices shut out of the real lawmaking process.
"And it disregards rights of the minority at all levels, a failure of leadership that will have lasting consequences for our institution beyond the current pandemic.
"Republicans have put forward a detailed plan to ensure the People’s House can perform its vital functions during this time in a safe and effective manner. We call on Democrats to do the same and drop this ill-conceived member management exercise masquerading as reform."
Created: May 13, 2020