Speaker McCarthy ends pandemic-era proxy voting, forcing lawmakers to vote in person

Republicans have a slim majority in the House, putting some members in difficult positions without proxy voting.

Updated: January 19, 2023 - 10:23am

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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Thursday ended pandemic-era proxy voting, delivering on a promise to require chamber members to vote in person. 

"No more proxy voting," McCarthy tweeted less than two weeks after being speaker. "Effective immediately, Members of Congress have to show up to work if they want their vote to count."

After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, then-Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi instituted proxy voting, but the Senate never did. McCarthy and other GOP lawmakers unsuccessfully filed a lawsuit in May 2020 expressing constitutional concerns about members of Congress voting on behalf of other members.

Despite winning a slim majority in the House, McCarthy remained committed to ending proxy voting, tweeting in December: "We will also return the House back to a functioning constitutional body by repealing proxy voting once and for all."

Republicans have a slim majority in the House, putting some members in difficult positions without proxy voting. For example, Colorado Rep. Ken Buck flew to D.C. shortly after a medical procedure to vote for McCarthy for speaker while Texas Rep. Wesley Hunt left his premature newborn to vote, Axios reported.

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