Kevin McCarthy’s road to the speakership of the House of Representatives was a wild one, almost without precedent, and certainly something that hasn’t been seen in at least a century.
But he’s here now, and he’s making sure everyone knows it with a bold new rule change for Congress.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reaffirmed his position on proxy voting Thursday morning, stating lawmakers “have to show up to work” instead of having someone else vote for them.
“No more proxy voting,” the speaker said Thursday morning on Twitter. “Effective immediately, Members of Congress have to show up to work if they want their vote to count.”
The rule did, at one point, serve a legitimate purpose.
Under the rule, members of Congress were allowed to proxy vote, which means that one member of the House could cast a vote on behalf of an absent member.
The rule was initially so business could be conducted without members having to be at the U.S. Capitol in person. But, it was quickly abused by lawmakers. Some lawmakers cited that they could not vote in person due to the “ongoing” pandemic, despite attending in-person campaign events, going on trips with the president, and even vacationing in Europe.
With Americans continuing to distrust their elected leaders at an alarming rate, even this small annoyance being thrust upon them feels like a victory.