Politics

House GOPs Bill Would Cut Office Budget for Members Voting by Proxy

House Republicans have been opposed to voting by proxy. Legislation has now been introduced by two House Republicans to reduce lawmakers annual office budgets if they do not travel to Washington, D.C., but instead vote by proxy.

Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), and member of the House Rules Committee, Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), on June 18 introduced the Proxy Vote Windfall Prohibition Act.

Based on the new proxy voting system, lawmakers can authorize colleagues physically present in the Capitol to cast votes on their behalf.

Based on the Proxy Vote Windfall Prohibition Act, those who do not vote in person will have their Members Representational Allowances (MRA), which pays for supplies, staff salaries, and travel between districts to Washington, slashed.

“Weve challenged their rule in court, but as long as it is in place, it stands to reason that if any member chooses not to travel to D.C. to vote, his or her taxpayer-funded travel allowance should be deducted by the amount that would have been spent on that trip,” Johnson said in a statement.

“If members are not going to travel for votes and instead rely on proxy voting, they should be required to give the money allocated for travel back to the Treasury. Its only fair,” Lesko added.

The MRA pays for travel to and from Washington from the members district. The amount paid depends on their specific location. The travel amount is equal to the dollar equivalent of 64 (32 rounds trips) multiplied by the rate per mile times mileage between D.C. and the members district, plus ten percent.

Many of the Democrats who voted by proxy last month usually travel from West Coast districts.

During a House Rules Committee markup of the resolution to enact the rule changes last month, Lesko had presented a similar proposal. But it was rejected along party lines.

In response to Leskos proposal, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), also a member of the Rules Committee, suggested that such a proposal should also be applied to lawmakers who sleep in their ofRead More From Source

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