According to The Hill, “top Republicans in the House are resisting calls to let lawmakers vote remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
On Tuesday Republicans cited security concerns arguing remote voting would not be feasible. “I absolutely do not support remote voting. We have a job to do and we must do it,” one senior GOP lawmaker told The Hill.
During a separate call Wednesday with GOP lawmakers, members expressed unease “about the message it sends to the country,” a source on the call told The Hill.
“We are undermining our unified bipartisan message to the American people when we come together in the crowded House floor to vote,” the lawmakers write in a letter, addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
“The image of over 430 members and approximately 100 staffers clustered together on the House floor during votes is inconsistent with public health guidance from public health officials,” the lawmakers write.
During Wednesday’s call, Rep. Chip Roy (Texas) argued that voting remotely would be “inappropriate,” while Rep. Virginia Foxx (N.C.) said Congress needs “to maintain structure,” the source said.
One GOP lawmaker said Tuesday’s call involved a discussion about the logistics for voting in the House once they are back in session.
“There was discussion about how do we vote once we get back…. You can’t have 435 members on the floor together,” the lawmaker said, adding that remote voting was not the focus of the call.
According to The Star Tribune, so far House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have taken steps to reduce the risks of lawmakers in the Capitol infecting each other. But they’ve opposed letting them cast votes electronically from their home districts.