President Trump’s task force has been working hard to fight the coronavirus pandemic and open up America. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has been silent — AWOL, you might say.
Even as the Senate returns to work this week, the House remains shuttered. And now, feeling the heat for their prolonged absence, House Democrats are floating plans that would upend centuries of legislative precedent and concentrate power in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hands.
One Democratic idea would allow a representative to ask a colleague to cast a vote on her behalf, known as a proxy vote. And this proxy vote would count for purposes of a quorum, the majority needed to proceed with business. If implemented, this brainstorm would create a procedural fiction in which a representative would be considered “physically” present in the Capitol when she is home with her freezer full of gourmet ice cream.