GOP congressman claims House Democrats just using virus to avoid working

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Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) has complained multiple times about stay-at-home efforts aimed at curbing the coronavirus's spread.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) claimed on Tuesday that House Democrats proposing to maintain social distancing by allowing proxy voting by Congress members during the COVID-19 pandemic were simply trying to get paid without working.

Noting a Politico story about a proposed temporary rule change to allow the voting by proxy, Brooks tweeted, "#Socialist #Democrat #Congressmen support #proxy voting by a 20 to 1 margin. Dems give #SpeakerPelosi their proxy, who then casts their votes. Dems GET PAID IN FULL without showing up for work at Capitol Hill."

He added that this was "SAD! COWARDLY!" and urged, "AMERICA - FIGHT BACK!!"

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The Alabama Republican has complained multiple times about stay-at-home efforts aimed at curbing the coronavirus's spread.

In early March, he criticized efforts to require social distancing, tweeting, "#Coronavirus/#COVID19 is serious. Killing #economy out of #panic & #fear is DUMB & DANGEROUS!" He added, "A strong economy=more money=better food, shelter, clothing, national security, HEALTH CARE & LONGER LIVES! A DESTROYED ECONOMY & POVERTY KILLS MORE THAN COVID19! USA LEADERS: BE WISER!"

Last Monday, Brooks demanded an immediate end to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey's stay-at-home order, writing: "We can live under government dictate, where a burgeoning nanny state regulates, ‘for our own good, because we are not smart enough to know better’, the minutiae of our lives" or have a government that "defers to citizens the liberty and freedom of making their own decisions on how to best balance the conflict between COVID-19 safety and the income needed to support family life."

Other GOP lawmakers have also been pushing recently to reopen Congress, despite the continued spread of the coronavirus throughout the Washington, D.C., area.

Last week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy demanded a "clean, safe, and effective plan for reopening Congress," calling its operations "the definition of 'essential work.'" Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee tweeted that "Congress needs to get back to work" because China's government "is not taking a break." Earlier this month, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) called his colleagues "cowards" who "don't want to show up for work."

While Brooks framed proxy voting by members of Congress as a matter of laziness, representatives have not been immune to the coronavirus. Earlier this month, Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL) became the sixth member of Congress to test positive for the coronavirus. A seventh, Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), was presumed to have had COVID-19 symptoms last month, days after close contact with House colleagues during the passage and signing of a stimulus bill.

Last week, the House held two roll-call votes with only a few members allowed on the floor at a time, at the urging of the House doctor. Each vote, scheduled for 15 minutes, took more than an hour to finish.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.