Many things have changed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the way in which many in the American workforce have had to adapt to a semi-permanent work-at-home environment, to include members of Congress, who’ve already held a number of virtual votes.
However, remote voting for members of Congress — a concept that’s being pushed hard by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — is not popular with many on the right, including Republican Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), who blew the Democrat-led plot wide open in an op-ed published by the Washington Examiner.
“Remote voting has no place in Congress. It is our duty to report to work for the people. Our nation has experienced great trials throughout our history, yet Congress has always reported for work,” Green wrote, adding a reference to how dutifully and quickly Congress convened in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Green ripped Democrats, especially Pelosi, for attempting to shirk their congressional duties and do the work they were elected to do by the people from the comfort of their couches, or a fancy dinner that they can’t be bothered to interrupt.
“If essential workers can report to work during a pandemic, so can members of Congress. But Pelosi and House Democrats have shown they are far more interested in consolidating power than reporting to work for their constituents,” Green wrote.
An even more critical point of concern, Green wrote, is that remote, proxy voting by text or other virtual means poses a genuine national security risk, given that a remote-voting lawmaker could be anyone on the other end, like a staffer or otherwise unelected person.
According to Roll Call, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich expressed many of the same concerns that Green did in his op-ed about the future of remote-voting, including the likelihood that Democrats will concentrate power, personal relationships between lawmakers crumble and members devise lesser quality legislation.
“Remote voting is bad for Congress and bad for the country. It is unconstitutional, and it centralizes power in the hands of the few. Members should not receive salaries on the taxpayers’ dime while they sit at home,” Green wrote, adding that remote voting virtually eliminates Congress and forms a new type of much less transparent and accountable government.
With any luck, once the COVID-19 vaccines are distributed to the county and the virus numbers begin to decline, Democrats in Congress will no longer be able to blame the virus for not wanting to come back to work.