House Republicans filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to block a system of proxy voting put in place during the coronavirus pandemic on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.
Proxy voting would allow House members to vote on another person's behalf if they are not able to be physically present at the Capitol, an unprecedented exception for an unparalleled health crisis.
Not a single Republican supported the measure as it passed earlier this month, arguing that the Constitution requires a quorum, or a majority, of lawmakers to be physically present in order to vote on measures, thus concluding that the proxy system is unconstitutional.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., called the new voting rules "a dereliction of our duty as elected officials," and argued that "a small number of members dictating the businesses of the whole House while the people’s voice is diluted" would be a dangerous precedent to set.
“As our nation approaches the heartbreaking milestone of 100,000 lives lost to COVID-19, House Republicans must stop their dangerous obstruction and join Democrats to save lives, defeat the virus and grow the economy,” Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday.