Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.–Article I, Section 5 of The Constitution.

The Constitution is clear: each House makes its own rules. Rep. McCarthy’s challenge to the proxy voting rule was clearly frivolous, thus the Supreme Court has declined to hear it.

The proxy voting rule is needed during the pandemic, otherwise it would not have been reasonable. Members of Congress are intended to assemble and debate, not to name a proxy and leave town early.

Many who initially opposed the proxy voting rule found it convenient and made good use of it, so it may not be easily repealed. However, repeal would not be enough to restore the ideal of responsible debate and action by members of the House. It is rare now for members to listen while others speak. More often they stay in their offices until it is time to vote. Party-line voting shows that the need for legislation is overshadowed by party loyalty.

Members might better be required to be present when the House is in session. But since Members have a voice in the rules, such a rule change is unlikely.


About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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1 Response to Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings

  1. whungerford says:

    “Indeed, we are hard-pressed to conceive of matters more integrally part of the legislative process than the rules governing how Members can cast their votes on legislation and mark their presence for purposes of establishing a legislative quorum,” D.C. Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan wrote in a decision for a unanimous three-judge panel.

    Pelosi applauded the Supreme Court’s move on Monday.
    “With this failed lawsuit, Republicans have worked to recklessly endanger the health of colleagues, staffers and institutional workers,” the speaker said in a statement. “In doing so, they have fought harder to try to score political points than they have fought to help struggling families during the pandemic. They do so with great shame and hypocrisy, as last year alone more than half of the Members of their conference designated a proxy so that they could vote remotely.”

    “I think people should show up to be paid. I think people should work together across the aisle. And if you’re here, that’s when you can make that happen. And fortunately, in the next year we’ll change that,” McCarthy said at a press conference in the Capitol last week.



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