Democrats quickly back off House floor proxy vote plan

Hours after unveiling a proposal for special rules which would have allowed lawmakers to vote on Coronavirus-related legislation - even when they were not on Capitol Hill - Democrats dropped plans to vote on the measure this week, moving instead to set up a bipartisan group to study the issue.

Congressional aides told reporters the House would instead vote Thursday on a plan to set up a special panel to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak, as Democrats try to centralize work related to the virus outbreak on one House committee.

The proxy voting effort had drawn criticism from Republicans, who have been publicly urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to figure out how to bring lawmakers back to work in a safe environment during the virus outbreak.

"We ask our grocers to work, our truckers to drive, and our nurses to risk their lives," said Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX). "Congress can show up to VOTE."

"For weeks I’ve been saying that if nurses, truckers, farmers, soldiers, and grocery store workers must go to work, so should Congress," said Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY).

Backers of the rules change argued it was time for the Congress to come up with an alternative to having all 435 members on Capitol Hill during a virus outbreak.

"I believe it is now clear to many of my colleagues that we need to develop plans for an e-Congress capability to be used in times of crisis," said Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI).

But Democrats struggled to put together the proxy voting proposal, and only unveiled it at 3 am on Wednesday morning.

And before lunch time, it was officially derailed.

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