Democrat Rep. Jared Golden (ME) used proxy voting Thursday in order to save House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) partisan Capitol security funding bill after he pledged to not use the voting style for “family responsibilities” regardless of a pandemic.
Golden was the last remaining vote to pass the Capitol funding bill. The final votes were recorded with a one-vote margin, 213 to 212, with three of the squad members voting against and three voting present on the bill.
The Democrat wrote a letter to the clerk of the House of Representatives dated the same day as the vote, Thursday, May 20. Golden was notifying the clerk of his “new proxy” in order to cast his vote.
In his letter to the clerk, he cited the “ongoing public health emergency” for his reasoning to not to travel Washington and vote in person, naming Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) to “serve as his proxy.” Golden said he and his wife are expecting the birth of their first child at the beginning of May.
At the time, he told the Portland Press Herald, “We are expecting the birth of our first child, and therefore I will be remaining in Maine this week to be with my wife as our family grows.”
When asked about voting by proxy, he told the news outlet, “I don’t believe my family responsibilities are an allowable use of a proxy voting system specifically intended to protect high-risk members.”
The House clerk keeps the records of the congressional members who use proxy voting under the current and previous Congress:
Office of the Clerk is verifying and making available certain letters designating, changing, and revoking the authority for remote voting by proxy. Members designated as proxies may only cast votes on behalf of other Members once they have received separate exact instruction with respect to each vote.
Breitbart News reported previously the House Republicans are against the use of proxy voting. The Republicans have even tried to sue the Speaker in order to get rid of proxy voting.
Reportedly, every member of Wisconsin’s Democratic Congressional delegation has been accused of abusing their proxy voting ability as well, allegedly using the proxy vote as an easy way to take long weekends of an extended vacation.