– Today, Congressman Chris Stewart (UT-02) voted against Speaker Pelosi’s Partisan Wish List (H.R. 6800) and Proxy Voting Scheme 2.0 (H. Res. 965). After refusing to bring Congress back to work, Speaker Pelosi authored these bills with help from her Democratic colleagues behind closed doors, leaving House Republicans in the dark. Following the vote, Congressman Stewart issued the following statement:
“Speaker Pelosi has delayed every critical funding bill by trying to push her far-left agenda. Now, she is wasting more time and money on something she knows won’t become law. This has nothing to do with Coronavirus. This is about pushing socialist priorities and Pelosi doesn’t seem to mind the $3 trillion price tag.” - Rep. Chris Stewart
What’s in Pelosi’s $3 trillion grab bag?
Provides “deferred action” and work authorization during the emergency declaration and for 90 days after for illegal aliens working in jobs that could be held by out of work Americans.
Allows illegal immigrants to receive direct stimulus payments because the bill does not require social security number verification.
Removes safeguards in the Paycheck Protection Program that would prevent taxpayer money from bailing out Planned Parenthood.
Fails to include Hyde protections in the state and local funding, so nothing would prevent this money from further subsidizing the abortion industry.
Provides a 100 percent subsidy to cover an individual’s premium costs for COBRA continuation coverage or a furloughed worker’s employer-sponsored coverage premium costs without Hyde protections to ensure that no federal funds are used to provide abortion services.
Mandates a blanket release for certain covered federal prisoners and alleged criminals, while imposing a high burden for the government to prove they present a risk of harm to society upon release.
Extends $600/week UI supplement through Jan. 31, 2021, plus a transition to allow the supplement to continue through March 31, 2021 for those who have not exhausted their benefits, meaning businesses will be competing with unemployment benefits for workers through spring of 2021.
Radically expands Phase 2 paid leave employer mandates by extending the mandates for an extra year, applying them to all employers, including small businesses, allowing more categories of leave to be compensated, and subjecting small businesses to lawsuits for alleged violations.
Federalizes elections by including stringent mandates on how states must run elections, including early voting, no ID requirement for in-person voting, same-day registration, and no excuse vote by mail in addition to providing absentee ballots to all registered voters without restrictions on ballot harvesting.
Expands Obamacare through a new Special Enrollment period, which has already been rejected by the White House.
Provides a tax break for millionaires and billionaires by repealing SALT limitations for 2020 and 2021.
Uses taxpayer dollars to bail out failing multiemployer pension plans while failing to include any needed reforms to fix the problem.
Imposes a one-size-fits-all OSHA rule on all employers, which is counterproductive given the ever-changing circumstances created by COVID-19.
Provides $10,000 of blanket student loan forgiveness for all public and private loans.
Virtually rewrites SNAP policy and permanently disallows rulemaking pertaining to work requirements and eligibility.
More about Pelosi’s Proxy Voting Scheme 2.0:
House Republicans serving on the bipartisan task force to resume House operations in a safe, effective manner have been working in good faith to develop actionable solutions to allow all members of the House to fulfill their constitutional duties during this pandemic.
The thoughtful approach laid out by Leader McCarthy and Ranking Members Cole and Davis last week would enable the House to fully perform its key functions, while balancing health and institutional concerns.
Instead of continuing bipartisan talks, Democrats are jamming through a rules change that would upend 200 years of precedent and have serious constitutional and institutional repercussions.
The House has demonstrated that it is able to consider bipartisan legislation under the current rules and this proposed rules change represents nothing more than a power grab by the majority.
By allowing each member to represent up to 10 proxies, Democrats could unilaterally pass legislation with only 20 of their members present.
While Democrats may argue there is precedent for proxy voting in committees, both Deschler and Cannon’s precedents both clearly state that proxies do not count towards establishing a quorum required to conduct business. The new Democrat proposal would allow proxies to count in establishing a quorum not only in committees, but also on the House floor -- which raises serious Constitutional questions for any measure that passes the House in such a manner.
Without explicit language requiring concurrence of the Minority Leader or, in the case of committees, the Ranking Member when determining the implementation of proxy voting and remote work, this change all but assures that minority rights will not be protected.
House Republicans stand ready to work with the majority to establish a safe and effective plan for how the House could adapt during these unprecedented times. Unfortunately, this partisan proposal will not achieve that goal.