- The Washington Times - Monday, March 23, 2020

House Rules Committee report threw cold water on the push to allow members to vote remotely during the coronavirus crisis.

“This change cannot be implemented overnight, and likely cannot be accomplished in time to address the current crisis. Without complete consensus, which we do not currently have, it would also require us to come back to Washington to vote to change House rules to allow for remote voting,” the report said.

Instead, the report suggests that the House continue to use existing procedures, namely unanimous consent and voice votes.

The House’s phase two coronavirus bill was nearly derailed last week after one member, Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, threatened to object to the unanimous consent movement members needed to pass technical corrections to the package.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi commissioned the rules committee to look into suggestions from members to change procedures, something she and leadership across Capitol Hill have been reluctant to do.



The push to allow members to join the majority of the country working from home comes as the virus hits Capitol Hill.

So far only a handful of lawmakers — most recently, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — announced they had tested positive for the virus. Two members of the House have tested positive: Reps. Ben McAdams, Utah Democrat, and Mario Diaz Balart, Florida Republican.

Some staffers in both the Senate and House offices have revealed they’ve tested positive for the disease and dozens of lawmakers have closed their offices and sent staffers to work from home.

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