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Most House members didn’t show up in person to vote on a $1.7 trillion government funding bill

An unusually-full House chamber during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to Congress on Wednesday.An unusually-full House chamber during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to Congress on Wednesday.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

  • The House passed a $1.7 trillion government funding bill Friday, sending it to President Biden’s desk.
  • But a majority of House members were not physically present for the vote due to proxy voting.
  • The practice began in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but lawmakers have since used it for other reasons.

The House of Representatives voted by a 225-201-1 margin to pass a nearly $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill on Friday that will fund the government through most of 2023, send billions in new funding to Ukraine, and institute reforms to the Electoral Count Act in response to the January 6 Capitol riot.

But most members of the House weren’t there for the vote — at least in person. More than half of them — 226 — voted by proxy.

As of Friday afternoon, 235 members of Congress had signed proxy letters designating other members of Congress to cast votes on their behalf, attesting that they were “unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency.”

It is likely the most poorly-attended vote since the Democratic-led House instituted the procedure in May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, members have used the procedure for a litany of non-pandemic related reasons.

Among the no-shows was Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who has been vacationing in Costa Rica since Sunday, Insider first reported.

Other lawmakers likely left town to avoid travel days caused by historic winter weather, or had already made plans to be out of town ahead of the holidays — the votes held this week were only added to the calendar recently, as lawmakers took longer than expected to reach an agreement on funding the government.

Below is a list of the members who voted by proxy, acccording to the the House Clerk. The member who cast the vote on each members’ behalf is in parentheses.


Republicans have vowed to end the practice in the next Congress, when they will hold the majority. However, many have frequently used the practice anyway.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy noted that the majority of the chamber was absent in a statement following the vote on Friday.

“For the first time in history, a bill in the House was passed without a physical quorum present – meaning more people voted from home than in the House Chamber,” said McCarthy. “The fact that [the bill] was allowed to pass with blatant disregard to Article I, Section 5 of our Constitution will forever stain this body.”

Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, a major critic of proxy voting, spoke on the House floor after the omnibus vote on Friday to note that 226 members — a majority of the chamber — had voted by proxy and suggested that a quorum was not present under the US Constitution.

He also teased a potential challenge to the legitimacy of the vote.

“Can the speaker advise whether there is a physical quorum present as required under the Constitution, and whether there is any recourse for any member under our rules to challenge a ruling that there is a quorum?” asked Roy.

“The Chair would just note that a quorum was indeed present,” replied Democratic Rep. G.K Butterfield, who was presiding over the chamber at the time. He also said that members “recording their presence by proxy are counted for the purpose of establishing a quorum under the rules of the House.”

McCarthy also said in his statement that House Republicans would be “pursuing legitimate challenges to the legality in which the Democrat Congress distorted the business and institutional precedents of the House” when they assume the majority.

Read the original article on Business Insider