/  Joint Statement on House Democrats' Plan to Institute Remote-Voting

Joint Statement on House Democrats' Plan to Institute Remote-Voting

Washington, D.C. – House Rules Committee Ranking Member Tom Cole (OK-04) joined House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) and Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (IL-13) in releasing the following statement on House Democrats’ plan to institute remote-voting:

“Speaker Pelosi is once again attempting to consolidate power in the House of Representatives while rewarding members of her party for their compliance. Chairperson Lofgren’s letter would pave the way for an expansion of the current proxy voting scheme into a fully-remote ‘vote by text’ operation that is unproven, unsecure, and unconstitutional.

“In addition to this yet-to-be unveiled remote voting program, House Democrats are reportedly considering additional rules changes to insulate themselves from criticism, such as eliminating or neutering the motion to recommit, the minority party’s last opportunity to amend legislation. 

“By shielding themselves from substantive policy debates and questions from the Capitol Hill press corps, Democrats appear ready to silence the voices of millions of Americans and overturn centuries of House precedent just to protect their own political futures.  

“Anyone that has served in or covered Congress understands the simplest way to extinguish party tensions is to keep members home and away from Washington. Facing a humbling defeat at the ballot box, Speaker Pelosi is now desperate to do no further harm to her political power.

“For the past week, all House Democrats can seem to talk about is themselves. Meanwhile, millions of Americans continue to hurt from the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus. Rather than chart a path forward to help the American people, House Democrats have spent their time devising ways to rig the process to prevent blowback against their radical policies, all while they continue to collect a paycheck from the taxpayers.

“This is a disgrace and would forever alter the institution in which we serve for the worse.”  

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Background:

  • Today, the House averages 1.6 billion unauthorized scans, probes, and malicious attempted network cyber-connections per month.
  • Remote committee proceedings in the House have already been marred by countless technical glitches. Moving to an unproven system of remote voting would risk duplicating the Iowa Democrat Caucus debacle every day on the floor.
  • The current electronic voting system used in the House Chamber took three years to design, test, and implement—and operates on a closed system unconnected to the internet to ensure vote tabulations are not manipulated by cyber-attacks. Democrats could be attempting to replicate this in a matter of months.
  • Authenticating that the individual voting remotely is actually the member would be difficult to confirm, if not impossible. Members could vote on legislation while attending political fundraisers. Unelected staff could vote on behalf of the member.
  • House Democrats have abused proxy voting to skip work, to attend space launches, or “to get home for some family obligations.” In fact, nearly 70 Democrats failed to show up in person for this summer’s “emergency session” on the U.S. Postal Service.
  • A total of 4,222 votes by proxy have been cast since Speaker Pelosi instituted this proxy system back in May and unilaterally renewed the covered period three times. As predicted, countless members have been permitted to stay home for months, all while earning their full government paycheck.
Created: November 11, 2020