House Minority Leader McCarthy faces critical legal decision in proxy voting lawsuit

The Supreme Court may decide on Friday whether to take up the case of proxy voting in the House
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McCarthy
McCarthy on September 23, 2021
(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The Supreme Court could decide as soon as Friday whether to take up a lawsuit brought by House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy to address the practice of proxy voting in the lower chamber.

House members from both parties have cited the pandemic as the reason they have failed to recently vote in person, though many of them vote in absentia for reasons that seemingly have nothing to do with the virus. Campaigning with high-profile candidates has often taken precedence over appearing in person to vote for certain members. For others, taking care of sick family members or attending to newborn babies have been reasons to vote by proxy.

While McCarthy acknowledges that members have used proxy voting for non-frivolous situations, he says missed House votes are part of the deal and should continue to be factored into the job of member-of-congress. 

"Members and people understand that there are times that members cannot be here and they're going to miss votes. Members are elected to represent their constituents, and they should be here. If they're going to get paid, they should be working," said McCarthy.

Over the last several months, many Republicans who once supported McCarthy's challenge have abandoned the suit and started taking advantage of the new system. More than half of the GOP conference who initially signed onto the suit, have removed their names.