Pelosi extends house proxy voting until after midterms

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In a letter to members of the House of Representatives on Friday, house speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she would be extending the practice of proxy voting due to the COVID pandemic. Proxy voting will continue until November 10, two days after the 2022 midterm elections.

“In light of 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’ … until November 10, 2022,” Ms Pelosi wrote.

The Speaker has extended proxy voting several times since it was first used at the onset of the pandemic.

Ms Pelosi’s letter came just days after President Joe Biden declared that the COVID pandemic was “over.” In an interview with “60 Minutes” Sunday, Mr Biden said that while COVID is still an issue, the fact that few are wearing masks and people are not struggling with illness proves that the worst of the pandemic is behind us.

The extension of proxy voting may help House members arrange schedules to campaign more in their home districts. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who is running for Senate against Republican nominee J.D. Vance was criticized earlier this summer for campaigning while voting by proxy.

The timing of the letter coinciding with the midterm drew criticism from Republicans in Congress, as the report by the Ripon Society found that more than 72 percent of the 17,000 proxy votes cast in the House in 2021 came from absent Democrats.

Republicans have vowed to end proxy voting if they win control of the House in November, which forecasts predict will happen.