On Friday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi extended remote voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic until Nov. 10.
Pelosi cited COVID-19 in her announcement to extend the 2020 policy until after the November general election.
“In light of the attached notification by the Sergeant-at-Arms, in consultation with the Office of Attending Physician, that a public health emergency is in effect due to a novel coronavirus, I am hereby extending the ‘covered period’ designated on January 4, 2021, pursuant to section 3(s) of House Resolution 8, until November 10, 2022,” Pelosi wrote in the press release.
Congressmen and members of the media took to Twitter to criticize the House Speaker for what appears to be a politically motivated action.
Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie replied to Pelosi’s statement, “The big guy said ‘C’mon man, pandemic is over.’ Fully vaxxed can now get 5th shot. Nevertheless, Pelosi extends proxy voting due to ‘novel coronavirus’ until the week of the election.”
The big guy said “C’mon man, pandemic is over.” Fully vaxxed can now get 5th shot. Nevertheless, Pelosi extends proxy voting due to “novel coronavirus” until the week of the election. pic.twitter.com/flMnBD7krt
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) September 23, 2022
“Even as Biden says pandemic is over, House extends proxy voting — allowing lawmakers to vote remotely — through November 10. Lawmakers from both parties have taken advantage of the system to declare they can’t attend votes bc of covid even though they are doing something else,” said CNN’s Chief Congressional Correspondant Manu Raju
Even as Biden says pandemic is over, House extends proxy voting — allowing lawmakers to vote remotely — through November 10.
Lawmakers from both parties have taken advantage of the system to declare they can't attend votes bc of covid even though they are doing something else
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 23, 2022
“Biden said pandemic is over. Pelosi extends remote voting until 2 days after the election,” said Washington Free Beacon’s investigative reporter Chuck Ross
On Wednesday. Indiana Rep. Greg Pence called on Pelosi to end proxy voting.
“Over the course of one hundred and fifteen sessions of Congress, this body convened in times of war, pandemics, and national crises alike to fulfill our constitutional duties,” the Indiana Congressman wrote to Pelosi in a letter, according to the Daily Caller. “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic two and a half years ago, essential workers, blue collar employees, first responders, food and restaurant industries, and many more have shown up to work each and every day to do their job”
Proxy voting, which was introduced in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, allows a present House member to vote on behalf of up to 10 absent members. It further allows House members to attend committee proceedings remotely.
“Our Founders would be ashamed that we aren’t assembling. A virtual Congress would be a Congress that is connected to the Internet, but disconnected from the American people,” said House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy speaking on the House floor shortly after the introduction of proxy voting.
Confusion surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic has increased over the past week after President Biden declared during a 60 Minutes interview at the Detroit auto show that the pandemic was over.
On Tuesday the White House walked back the President’s declaration in a press briefing.
“So, the President said — and he was very clear in his 60 Minutes interview — that, you know, COVID remains a problem and we’re fighting it,” said Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “And we have to continue to make sure that we are fighting this once-in-a-generation pandemic.”