House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) might again extend the deadline for proxy voting through the fall.
The story: The possibility of Pelosi pushing back the deadline for proxy voting was first reported by Axios, which cited statements from Democrats and aides.
An aide for Pelosi, however, said that the House Speaker will follow the advice of the Office of Attending Physician. The aide said the House Speaker has not made a final decision on the matter.
Meanwhile, some Democrats want Pelosi to extend proxy voting, unlike Republicans who oppose it. Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX) cited a recent surge of the coronavirus across the U.S.
“Extending the proxy-voting process is the only rational course forward. Hopefully, the surge will subside sooner than later, and if so, then perhaps life can get back to normal,” Vela said.
Vela even argued to make the proxy voting system permanent.
“Members should have the flexibility to vote from wherever they may be, if their service requires their presence elsewhere,” the Texas Democrat said.
Worth noting: A staffer for Pelosi tested positive for COVID-19 last week after attending an event where the Texas House Democrats who fled the state to block an election bill were present.
How we got here: Pelosi had already extended the proxy voting that was set to end in May to last through Aug. 18. The move was introduced because of the pandemic and allowed lawmakers who cannot travel to D.C. to authorize a colleague physically present in the Capitol to cast votes on their behalf.
The proxy voting system triggered a lawsuit from Republicans. They argued that the proxy voting system is unconstitutional because the Constitution requires that a majority of lawmakers are present to take up business and vote on bills.
The three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled unanimously dismissed the lawsuit, saying it does not have jurisdiction over the House’s rules and policies.
“The district court dismissed the suit for lack of jurisdiction. The court concluded that the resolution and its implementation lie within the immunity for legislative acts conferred by the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause. We agree, and we thus affirm the district court’s dismissal of the case,” Sri Srinivasan, the court’s chief judge, wrote on behalf of the panel.
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