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June 18, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Mike Johnson (LA-04) – the Ranking Member of House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties – and Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) today introduced the Proxy Vote Windfall Prohibition Act.

When H. Res. 965, a House rule change, passed the House on May 5th, Members were given the option not to travel to Washington, D.C. for votes and instead vote by proxy. Each year, Members receive a Member Representational Allowance (MRA) that varies from member-to-member based upon their approximate travel costs between D.C. and their district. The Proxy Vote Windfall Prohibition Act simply states that for Members who choose not travel to D.C. to vote in person, the Committee on House Administration (CHA) shall reduce the Member’s MRA funds by the amount that they would have spent if they travelled.

"When House Democrats passed the new rule to allow Members to vote by proxy, they violated the express language of the Constitution and the more than two centuries-old practice of Congress physically assembling to do its important work," Johnson said. "We've 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. I thank my friend and colleague Rep. Lesko for joining me in this effort, and we urge the House to pass this commonsense legislation."

“As members of Congress, our annual budgets, or Member’s Representational Allowances, include money for travel to and from our districts to Washington, D.C. for votes and other congressional business,” Lesko said. “Due to the Democrats’ proxy voting scheme, travel to and from Washington, D.C. is no longer required. 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. It’s only fair.”

You can read the text of the legislation here.