Over one dozen Republican lawmakers have threatened to boycott the “unsanctioned quasi-hearings” occurring in the House Oversight and Rules Committee, the Houses’ powerful investigative body that can oversee the federal government.
According to Fox News, which obtained a copy of the letter sent to Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), the lawmakers contend that remote briefings have been marred with procedural violations and technical issues, and call upon the committee to begin meeting in-person, as the current situation remains “unworkable” on a day-to-day basis.
The House should be doing the people’s business in person.
America is getting back to work, and so should we.
But if Dems can’t bring themselves to do that, they should at least follow the rules that they put in place and stop trampling minority rights.https://t.co/sQ7YoaglSq
— Oversight Committee Republicans (@GOPoversight) May 27, 2020
“Rather than continue a pattern of unfair remote proceedings that inhibit the Minority and confuse the American People, we urge you to bring the Committee back to regular order. Barring this approach, we urge you to acknowledge that the Speaker has declared the House to be in a ‘covered period,’ pursuant to H. Res. 965, and follow Chairman McGovern’s procedural expectations,” reads the letter, which refers to the procedural expectations established by the House Rules Committee.
“You must abandon these quasi-hearings and move the Committee into compliance with the McGovern guidelines. There is a playbook — albeit a murky one — that we must follow at this point,” the letter continues, and later adds: “If you will not stop the weekly fake hearings and move toward the framework laid out in H. Res. 965 and the accompanying McGovern guidelines, the Republican Members will be forced to consider abstaining from these violative proceedings.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) filed a lawsuit against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), accusing the majority in Congress of breaking centuries of historical precedent by allowing a single member of Congress to vote on behalf of up to ten other members not in the Capitol.
“It is simply impossible to read the constitution and overlook its repeated and emphatic requirement that Members of Congress actually assemble in their respective chambers when they vote, whether on matters as weighty as declaring war or as ordinary as naming a bridge,” reads the lawsuit, which later adds that the in-person voting “requirement is no less mandatory in the midst of a pandemic.”
The House voted along party lines to allow the Speaker to enact the rule change, and Pelosi can extend the proxy voting period based on public information provided by the sergeant-at-arms. As of Tuesday evening, 59 Democrats and no Republicans filed letters designating another member of Congress as their proxy.
In a statement made after the lawsuit was filed, Pelosi accused the House Republicans of engaging in a “sad stunt,” and that the Constitution supported the move she made as falling under the power of each Chamber to enact its own procedural rules.
“House Republicans’ sad stunt shows that their only focus is to delay and obstruct urgently-needed action to meet the needs of American workers and families during the coronavirus crisis,” said Pelosi. “The House’s position that remote voting by proxy during a pandemic is fully consistent with the Constitution is supported by expert legal analyses. Further, the Supreme Court made clear over a century ago that the Constitution empowers each chamber of Congress to set its own procedural rules.”
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