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The People's House Has An Attendance Problem

Like a student who has skipped school for far too long, Congress should be charged with truancy, and the American people deserve to know why. To get to the root of this problem, we must turn back the clocks to 2020. On May 15, 2020, the House of Representatives passed House Resolution 965 along party lines. On the surface, this may sound like just another mundane measure passed by Congress, but I can assure you that it is not. Under this resolution, members of Congress can cast votes for up to 10 other members at a time. This practice is commonly referred to as “proxy voting”.

In fact, Congress has never resorted to proxy voting in its history before. Not when the Capitol was burned to the ground in the War of 1812. Not during the Civil War. Not during the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918. Not even after the horrific September 11th terrorist attacks. The clockwork of this Republic had always carried on in person. It should have been kept that way.

Now, fast forward to the beginning of this year. On January 10th, the House of Representatives gathered to start the second half of the 117th Congress. Doing so requires a quorum, the minimum number of people necessary to conduct legislative business. What if I told you that over 80 members of the majority voted “present” by proxy? That’s precisely what happened. No, these members were not in Washington or even in the House chamber - they were hundreds if not thousands of miles away.

What ever happened to the value of completing a hard day’s work? What does it say when members of Congress refuse to show up to work and conduct the business in person? It says that the priorities of the American people are not being put first – and are not being taken seriously. It’s downright shameful that we have reached this point.

Let me be very clear: I have never cast a proxy vote during my time in Congress. Doing so would be an insult to the proud citizens of the 5th District. Every morning, across our ten counties, hardworking people are waking up, heading into work, and taking care of business. It’s a valuable mentality that I have always adhered to, and it is one that I will never forsake. You can rest assured that I will always be conducting the business of the people in person and working as hard as I can to serve you.

Published In The Taylorsville Times

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