Politics

Rep. Ted Budd Introduces Bill That Would Withhold Pay From Members Of Congress Who Vote By Proxy

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Republican North Carolina Rep. Ted Budd on Thursday introduced a bill that would withhold the pay of members of Congress who vote by proxy instead of in-person.

“Beyond the fact that House Democrats’ proxy voting scheme is unconstitutional, it also allows members to phone in their public service. That’s just fundamentally wrong. Our salaries are paid for by taxpayers, and if my Democrat colleagues don’t want to show up and vote, then they shouldn’t get that paycheck,” Budd told the Daily Caller after introducing the bill.

House candidate from North Carolina Mark Harris (C) and Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) (R) listen to US President Donald Trump speech during a fundraiser at the Carmel Country Club August 31, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

The legislation has six Republican co-sponsors, including North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop, North Carolina Rep. David Rouzer, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, Michigan Rep. Jack Bergman, Utah Rep. John Curtis, and Florida Rep. Bill Posey.

If passed, the legislation would withhold the pay for the day missed and put the money into an escrow account. The pay would be returned at the end of the Congress since, under the 27th amendment, it is unconstitutional to withhold pay from a Member of Congress. The money would be returned from the escrow accounts after the year.

This comes as a group of 20 House Republicans filed a lawsuit against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to block the House’s new system of voting by proxy, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s staff confirmed on a background call Tuesday.

McCarthy, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney, Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy all helped lead the effort to file the lawsuit against Pelosi. (RELATED: House Republicans To File Lawsuit Against Pelosi To Block Proxy Voting)

In March, Pelosi came out against remote voting, despite the fact that at least five members of Congress are infected with coronavirus. When asked about remote voting, Pelosi reportedly said “let’s not waste time” talking about “something that’s not going to happen.” Adding that it would only be possible in the future, if then, according to PBC Correspondent Lisa Desjardins. (RELATED: Pelosi Comes Out Against Remote Voting, As Five Members Of Congress Are Infected With Coronavirus)

Nearly 70 Democrats cast votes by proxy Wednesday, not showing up to vote in person.