Remote voting in the U.S. House hits a second anniversary, but it may be its last

Nebraska delegation members ranged from making zero to 33 proxy votes

By: - May 26, 2022 4:44 pm

Surrounded by fellow House Republican members, House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol, May 27, 2020. Calling it unconstitutional, Republican leaders filed a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and congressional officials in an effort to block the House of Representatives from using a proxy voting system to allow for remote voting during the coronavirus pandemic. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Nebraska delegation’s proxy voting

Among Nebraska’s all-Republican delegation, Rep. Don Bacon has used proxy voting the most.

He voted by proxy 22 times in 2021 and 11 times this year. He had no proxy votes in 2020. For context, Bacon voted in person or was marked not voting 701 times between May 27, 2020, and May 1 this year.

“I don’t think House rules should allow for proxy voting and hope we change when we take the majority,” Bacon told the Nebraska Examiner Thursday. “My point that I made to our leadership was that if the Dems make it a rule we should use the rule. Otherwise, we’ll have 5-10 people missing votes, and they’re getting a 100% to vote by using proxy.”

Bacon said most of the votes he missed happened on the same night. “I had a town hall scheduled and decided to keep it and not cancel.”

Former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry voted by proxy once in 2021 and 17 times between Jan. 2 this year and his resignation from the House on March 31.

Fortenberry was criticized for using proxy voting during his federal trial in California in March. He had sent a letter to the Clerk of the House saying he would be “unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency.”

Rep. Adrian Smith has not voted by proxy since the practice was first allowed May 27, 2020.

Nebraska Examiner staff contributed to this report.

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Jacob Fischler
Jacob Fischler

Jacob covers federal policy as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues. His coverage areas include climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.