Apr 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House Rules chair puts forward plan for proxy voting amid coronavirus

The House chamber.
The chamber of the House of Representatives. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Rules Committee Chair Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) put forward a plan on Thursday for remote voting for members of the House as the coronavirus outbreak persists.

The big picture: Under the "temporary, low-tech" proposal, House members who can't make it to the Capitol would direct another member to vote on their behalf. McGovern said he's looking to change the standing rules of the House and implement technology for virtual hearings and markups for committees for the time being.

What he's saying:

"We don't know how long this pandemic will threaten public health, or how long state stay at home orders will last. We all know, though, that Congress needs to be working, whether in person, remotely, or both. We should not wait for this pandemic to end to make changes to the rules that help us to do our jobs in such an unprecedented time. I hope my colleagues, Democratic and Republican, can work together to implement this temporary solution. "
ā€” Jim McGovern in a press release

What's next: The rules would be put in place via a House resolution and the authority would only be temporary and linked to the pandemic.

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