41 House Republicans oppose work-from-home rule they've used themselves

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A total of 136 GOP lawmakers are demanding an end to proxy voting.

Most House Republicans sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday demanding an immediate end to proxy voting. But dozens of the lawmakers now claiming the work-from-home option "impedes Congress" from doing its job have themselves taken advantage of it.

The letter, signed by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, and 133 other members of their caucus, calls for the lifting of the safety rules put into place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

They complained, "Proxy voting remains in place and lengthened voting blocs impedes Congress' ability to get work done in an efficient manner."

Despite numerous cases of COVID-19 within their ranks, House Republicans unanimously opposed the rule change last May that temporarily allowed members to designate a colleague to serve as their proxy if they are "unable to physically attend proceedings in the House chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency."

They denounced it as a decision by the Democratic majority to "abandon ship" and even filed a federal lawsuit claiming the proxy voting rules were unconstitutional. A judge rejected their arguments last August, though an appeal is still pending.

But many of the Republicans who railed against the work-from-home option — including even some of the plaintiffs in the court challenge — gradually began to use the system themselves.

After vocally opposing "anything that gets the representatives of the people further away from the decision-making process," Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida used a proxy to cast his "nay" vote on a bill to keep the government funded in December. Instead, he attended the right-wing group Turning Point USA's black-tie gala at then-President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

In February, numerous GOP lawmakers were caught using the pandemic as an excuse to skip work and attend the CPAC conference in Orlando, Florida, while leaving their proxy votes with colleagues. Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar even designated a proxy so he could speak to a white nationalist conference. Then-Conference Chair Liz Cheney denounced her colleagues for lying, and Campaign for Accountability, a watchdog group, has requested an ethics investigation into whether these lawmakers "knowingly made false statements" to the House clerk.

A review of the 136 House Republicans signing the letter on Tuesday found 41 of them used the proxy rules themselves to work remotely at least once.

They include:

  1. Mark Amodei (NV)
  2. Jim Baird (IN)
  3. Jack Bergman (MI)
  4. Gus Bilirakis (FL)
  5. Mo Brooks (AL)
  6. Larry Bucshon (IN)
  7. Ted Budd (NC)
  8. Ken Calvert (CA)
  9. Tom Cole (OK)
  10. James Comer (KY)
  11. Scott DesJarlais (TN)
  12. Neal Dunn (FL)
  13. Pat Fallon (TX)
  14. Chuck Fleischmann (TN)
  15. Andrew Garbarino (NY)
  16. Bob Gibbs (OH)
  17. Carlos Gimenez (FL)
  18. Kay Granger (TX)
  19. Mark Green (TN)
  20. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA)
  21. Kevin Hern (OK)
  22. Darrell Issa (CA)
  23. Ronny Jackson (TX)
  24. John Joyce (PA)
  25. David Kustoff (TN)
  26. Doug Lamborn (CO)
  27. Lisa McClain (MI)
  28. Ralph Norman (SC)
  29. Steve Palazzo (MS)
  30. Bill Posey (FL)
  31. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA)
  32. Hal Rogers (KY)
  33. Lloyd Smucker (PA)
  34. Elise Stefanik (NY)
  35. Chris Stewart (UT)
  36. Tom Tiffany (WI)
  37. William Timmons (SC)
  38. Fred Upton (MI)
  39. Ann Wagner (MO)
  40. Jackie Walorski (IN)
  41. Joe Wilson (SC)

Many of the people now demanding an immediate end to pandemic safety rules and proxy voting still refuse to say whether they have even been vaccinated yet.

As of Wednesday — six Republicans, including Fleischmann — are currently designating a colleague as their proxies due to the emergency the GOP now says is over.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.