Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday extended proxy voting in the House, allowing members to vote remotely until Dec. 25 — just days before the new Congress is set to be sworn in.
Pelosi has extended proxy voting a number of times since it was first used shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, but this time may be her last if Republicans take control of the House.
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Members of the House GOP conference have vowed to do away with the pandemic-era practice, which allows lawmakers in the Capitol to cast votes for their colleagues who are not present at the time.
Results from Tuesday’s Election Day are still rolling in, but just before 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, Republicans held a slight advantage, 209 seats to 191 seats. Neither party, however, has won enough seats to secure the majority.
If Republicans do take control of the chamber, which forecasters expect, party leaders are expected to end proxy voting, making good on a promise they have made throughout the current Congress.
Both parties have used proxy voting in the past two-plus years.
“We will immediately reopen the Capitol and end the Democrat proxy voting and remote work schemes that have inflicted untold damage to this institution,” McCarthy wrote to his colleagues.
Ending proxy voting is also in the House GOP conference’s midterm messaging and policy platform, titled the “Commitment to America.”
“End special treatment for Members of Congress by repealing proxy voting,” the document reads.
Pelosi said she was extending proxy voting on Thursday because “a public health emergency is in effect due to a novel coronavirus.” The practice was previously slated to end on Nov. 10 after Pelosi extended it in late September.