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GOP congressman 'forgot' to cast proxy vote that would have killed $1.9B security spending bill

Rep. Carter intended to vote against the $1.9 billion bill, but his proxy vote, which could have sunk the bill, wasn't counted.

Updated: May 24, 2021 - 1:17pm

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California Republican Rep. Ken Calvert "forgot" to cast a proxy vote on behalf of Texas Republican Rep. John Carter that would have sunk the $1.9 billion post-Jan. 6 supplemental security spending bill, Just the News has learned.

Carter's letter granting authority to cast his vote by proxy to Calvert was submitted to the House clerk and accepted. Carter successfully voted by proxy Thursday on "the motion to recommit" that preceded the final vote on the supplemental security bill. Carter's spokesperson told Just the News that he would have voted against the bill if his proxy vote was counted for the final vote.

"The congressman included a statement in the record that he would've voted no," said Carter's spokesperson.

Calvert's spokesperson told Just the News why Carter's proxy wasn't counted during the vote on final passage the $1.9 billion bill.

"Rep. Calvert had been voting by proxy for Rep. Carter throughout the week," the spokesman said. "Rep. Calvert made a mistake and simply forgot to cast Rep. Carter's vote."

Calvert casted his own no vote in-person. House members now have the option to vote by proxy in lieu of in-person voting due to rule changes that the House passed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the House, a tied vote can sink a bill, so a no vote from one or two of the GOP members who didn't vote would have blocked the bill from passing. 

Florida Republican Rep. Daniel Webster was against the measure, but he's opposed to using proxy voting and was unable to vote in-person on the bill.

"Rep. Webster missed votes because he was unavoidably detained in the district and wasn’t able to make it to D.C. in time to make the votes," a spokesperson for Webster told Just the News on Friday. "He likely would have opposed the bill — he didn't proxy vote on principle as he is on the record opposing proxy-voting and was part of the original lawsuit challenging its constitutionality."

Aside from the two GOP members whose votes were not recorded, all other Republican House members voted against the bill. The Democrat-led House passed the bill 213-212 on Thursday. There were three Democrats that voted against the bill and 3 Democrats that voted present.