As the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has proceeded with a change to House rules that will allow for so-called proxy voting by members, a move opposed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Such a move would allow for votes to take place without some members of Congress being physically present. However, according to McCarthy, the effort is unconstitutional and being instituted by Pelosi to ensure she maintains a stranglehold on power.
“This is endangering the Constitution to ensure Pelosi has more power,” McCarthy said on Wednesday’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends.” “Look, our Constitution, our country expects us to convene. For 231 years, that’s what Congress has done — from the yellow fever of 17 — in the 1700s, to the Civil War, to the burning of a building during the — in the 1900s. Then you had Spanish flu. You had the 9/11 — we still convened.”
“But all this does is empower Pelosi more,” he continued. “Sixty-three Democrats will not show up for work today but still be paid. You cannot read the Constitution without clearly seeing that our founders believed we should meet together, from Article 1, section four, five, or six. There is no way to read the Constitution any other way. The only reason the Democrats are doing this, it empowers Pelosi to even be stronger. Watch what she was able to do just a couple of weeks ago — passed $3 trillion with never going through a committee, no one seeing the bill. She wrote it herself and brought it to the floor. The largest bill ever in the history of the United States.”
McCarthy acknowledged Democrats in charge of the U.S. House of Representatives could make rule changes, but such changes had to be within the parameters of the Constitution.
“Congress can make any rule, but they cannot — they cannot go against the Constitution,” he explained. “If that is true, then Congress can make a rule that only women can vote, that only California can vote, that Republican votes only count half a percent. They cannot do something unconstitutional. That’s why what they are doing has not been done in 231 years.”
“When the — when the Capitol was burnt down during the War of 1812, when we had the Spanish flu in 1918, when we had 9/11 we still were able to convene,” McCarthy added. “We are going to space today, we are opening up California, but 63 Democrats are not coming to work, and they’re still being paid. They were able to come to work a couple of weeks ago but now they can’t. Why? Because it empowers Nancy Pelosi to have all the power. Only 20 members can hold all the proxies to be able to pass bills they want on the floor — unheard of. And it is not what the founders believed this country should do.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor