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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) speaks during a news conference at the Capitol on Aug. 27, 2021. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is asking the Supreme Court to overturn the House proxy voting protocols that were implemented last year as a pandemic precaution.

Driving the news: McCarthy issued a statement Thursday blasting the proxy voting protocols, which allow lawmakers who are not present to choose other members as proxies to cast their votes.

  • "Today, we are asking the Supreme Court to uphold the Constitution by overturning Speaker Pelosi’s perpetual proxy voting power grab," McCarthy said. "Although the Constitution allows Congress to write its own rules, those rules cannot violate the Constitution itself, including the requirement to actually assemble in person."
  • The House adopted the proxy voting protocols in May 2020 in a 217-189 vote along party lines.

What he's saying: "Its continuation is an insult to hard working taxpayers who are back at work safely while members of Congress get a pass to skip work but still get paid," McCarthy said of the voting rules.

  • "Some members have barely voted in person for more than a year."

Between the lines: House members from both parties have taken advantage of the ability to cast votes remotely, and not always because of COVID, Axios' Stef Kight reports.

Go deeper: By the numbers: Proxy voting in House

Go deeper

Biden signals openness to ending filibuster for voting rights legislation

President Biden participates in a CNN town hall at Baltimore Center Stage in Baltimore, Maryland on Oct. 21, 2021. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Thursday at a CNN town hall he'd be willing to consider doing away with the filibuster in the Senate in a bid to protect voting rights and "and maybe more."

Why it matters: With an evenly split Senate, legislation requires at least 10 Republican votes making it highly unlikely any new voting rights bill would pass with the filibuster in tact.

What to know before heading to the polls in Austin

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Early voting for the Nov. 2 election is here, and Austin voters will weigh in on two local propositions, in addition to eight Texas constitutional amendments.

State of play: So far, turnout has been low. Just 2.25% of Travis County voters headed to polls or voted by mail during the first three days of early voting, according to the Travis County clerk's office.

Yes, but: That's not unusual for an election in which no major political offices are on the ballot.

"Atmospheric river" swings parts of Pacific Northwest from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. The storm system claimed the lives of two people in Washington state after a tree fell on a vehicle amid powerful winds Sunday.