Palmer: Pelosi’s power grab
By passing a House Resolution to allow voting by proxy, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats sent a clear message that they crave power, and for them, there’s no better time for a power grab than when the American people are vulnerable and suffering.
Instead of making provisions to return to Washington, the Democrat majority took steps to undermine representative government. They voted to change the rules of the House so that a member from California can vote for a member from Alabama. Can you imagine a member from California fairly representing the views of the people of Alabama? This is called proxy voting – one member voting for another – but it cannot be called anything close to representative democracy, which our Founders envisioned and fought for.
To be fair, proxy voting has previously been allowed in committee hearings, but never in the history of the Republic has it been allowed when members are casting the final vote on the House floor for a bill to become law. Not all members serve on every committee, and committees are not sending bills to the President for his signature. Votes on the House floor are what make representative democracy most critical, because it is those votes that make the country bound by lawmakers’ decisions.
Despite the health concerns amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the fact remains that if elected representatives are not willing or able to be present, we do not have a representative government. I know members in both parties whose health is compromised for one reason or another and should avoid being in Washington. But their absence does not mean Congress should shut down.
By instituting this power grab, Nancy Pelosi will now be able to avoid calling Congress into session. She can stay in California and collaborate with her colleagues on continued legislative assaults on American lives without going through the committee process or including Republicans. In fact, ethics complaints have already been filed regarding Democrats holding committee meetings without Republicans. And that was before the rule change.
What this rule change does is consolidate power in the hands of Nancy Pelosi and her Democrat cabal. During the Democrats’ 40-year control of Congress, proxy voting made Democrat committee chairmen incredibly powerful, and this change will do that again. Every American – whether Democrat, Republican, or Independent – should be greatly concerned.
The Democrats claimed this power grab was necessary because they are unable to travel from home. Yet they made sure enough of them traveled from home, without incident, to cast their votes for the resolution so that they would not have to come back to work.
For all intents and purposes, Pelosi is no longer the Speaker of the House, but the Supreme Leader of the House. She decides who has power in the House because she decides who chairs the committees. Until last week, we operated under the premise that House of Representatives is the People’s House. Last week, it took a big step toward being Pelosi’s House.
Gary Palmer is a congressman from Hoover representing Alabama’s Sixth District