GOP tries to shut down Congress because they're mad about virus rules

890

House Republicans don't want to allow votes from home that would help prevent the coronavirus from spreading.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) tried to force the House into recess on Thursday, all because he's angry that Democratic leadership is allowing members of Congress to cast votes remotely to avoid the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Biggs moved to adjourn Congress over his opposition to proxy voting, which allows House members to vote on legislation without being on the floor. It was a rule change the House implemented to keep members of Congress from traveling back to their districts and spreading the virus — which has torn through Capitol Hill, with multiple members testing positive with the virus.

"They don't feel like they all need to be here to deal with this issue, so they're going to mail it in, they're going to phone in their votes, quite frankly in a most disturbing and unconstitutional manner," Biggs said in a floor speech. "We can be here, they should be here. If this meant everything that they say it does, they would show up."

Biggs' opposition to measures intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus come as the virus is surging nationwide. Hospitalizations are at their highest rate throughout the pandemic, with the United States hitting the grim milestone on Wednesday of the most coronavirus deaths in a single day.

More than 273,000 people have died from the virus in the United States to date, with millions more suffering from the economic impacts of the pandemic.

Yet rather than working on ways to stop the virus from spreading, he instead tried to stop congressional business out of a protest over proxy voting.

Democratic members of Congress were aghast at his stunt.

"This is batty," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) tweeted. "Americans are in dire need of food and paychecks. More people died yesterday from #COVID19 than any day since. We have work to do. Yet, @HouseGOP just motioned to adjourn Congress. What the hell are they doing?"

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez echoed those sentiments.

"We’re trying to get COVID relief and stimulus checks out to people and right now Republicans are trying to prematurely adjourn Congress," she tweeted. "People are going hungry and they’re treating this like a game. Leaders don't abandon people in their time of greatest need."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.