Forty-seven Democrats skip House floor on historic $1.75 trillion spending bill, vote by proxy

In total, 63 Republicans had active proxy letters on the day of the vote on the bill.

There were 47 Democrats who had submitted letters to vote by proxy instead of in person on President Biden's $1.75 trillion spending bill, according to the Office of the House Clerk.

In total, 63 Republicans had active proxy letters on Friday, the day of the vote on the bill.

The proxy voting system was put in place as an option for House voting during the coronavirus pandemic. Members voluntarily submit proxy letters authorizing another lawmaker to cast a vote in person on their behalf.

Among the Democratic lawmakers who submitted proxy letters was Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. DeFazio was instrumental in crafting the $550 billion worth of climate change and green energy provisions included in the final legislation. 

President Biden and Democratic congressional leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have described the Build Back Better legislation as transformative and historic.

"Following the vision of President Biden, guided by the expertise and energy of our chairs, members and staff, we have a Build Back Better bill that is historic, transformative and larger than anything we have ever done before," Pelosi said.

The House Clerk posts a copy of each proxy letter on its website.