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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday she will extend the chamber's remote voting period until Oct. 2 due to the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The designated period, which began on May 20, marks the first time members of Congress have been allowed to vote remotely. The rules provide that a member can have another member vote on their behalf.

  • Pelosi wrote in a "Dear Colleague" letter that she consulted with the congressional physician before making the decision.
  • House Republicans have sued to block the system, arguing that it's unconstitutional, but a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit earlier this month on the grounds that the House has "absolute immunity from civil suit" under the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution.

The big picture: The House will return to session on Saturday to vote on legislation related to the U.S. Postal Service.

Go deeper

LGTBQ+ leaders back Cicilline for House leadership

Rep. David N. Cicilline. Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool via AFP

A large group of LGTBQ+ leaders is endorsing Rep. David N. Cicilline in his bid to become assistant speaker of the House of Representatives.

Why it matters: Cicilline, the only openly gay member of the House leadership, is running against Rep. Katherine M. Clark for the fourth-ranking position in the House Democratic caucus as voting takes place this week.

Why migrants are fleeing their homes for the U.S.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios Photo: Herika Martinez /Getty Images 

Natural disasters in Central America, economic devastation, gang wars, political oppression, and a new administration are all driving the sharp rise in U.S.-Mexico border crossings — a budding crisis for President Biden.

Why it matters: Migration flows are complex and quickly politicized. Biden's policies are likely sending signals that are encouraging the surge — but that's only a small reason it's happening.

Cities' pandemic struggle to balance homelessness and public safety

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Addressing homelessness has taken on new urgency in cities across the country over the past year, as officials grapple with a growing unhoused population and the need to preserve public safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: It’s led to tension when cities move in to clear encampments — often for health and safety reasons — causing some to rethink the role of law enforcement when interacting with people experiencing homelessness.

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