The members embrace Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who addressed the convention on Friday, in addition to others who have been listed as scheduled audio system — akin to Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Jim Banks of Indiana, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Ted Budd of North Carolina, Mark Inexperienced of Tennessee, Darrell Issa of California, Ronny Jackson of Texas, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Devin Nunes of California and Greg Steube of Florida.
Whereas a lot of the workplaces of these members did not reply to requests for remark, an Issa spokesman contended that his boss did nothing untoward.
“Congressman Issa complied with all Home voting guidelines in lodging his opposition to what the Democrats labeled as Covid reduction, however that devoted greater than 90 p.c of its complete to non-Covid spending,” Issa’s spokesperson Jonathan Wilcox mentioned in a press release.
“Leaders present up irrespective of how unsure the occasions are,” Cawthorn tweeted final summer time. “The Democrats are cowards for not displaying as much as work.”
CNN on Saturday requested Kelly and Norman why they voted by proxy as a way to attend CPAC.
“I believe it is turn out to be dramatically totally different of what we are able to do and what we will not do,” Kelly mentioned. “There’s plenty of issues we need to take part in. I’ve voted for a number of of our members by proxy as a result of for one motive or one other they could not be right here, or within the Capitol, however for us, that is vital to be right here (CPAC), too.”
When CNN requested about his letter citing public well being causes, he rolled his eyes and walked away.
Norman blamed Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi for altering “the voting to intervene with CPAC.”
“Nancy Pelosi units the schedule. CPAC has been deliberate for months. She moved the date from beginning on Monday and she or he modified it to Tuesday and ran it by way of the weekend. That is unbelievable. It is unacceptable,” he mentioned.
Requested why his letter cited a public well being matter for his motive to vote by proxy, Norman informed CNN: “That is the one factor you could possibly test. It would not matter. If she desires to vary that, change it.”
To vote by proxy, lawmakers should signal a letter with the Home clerk and permit one other member to vote at their course and on their behalf. The letters, that are filed with the Home clerk’s workplace, say: “I’m unable to bodily attend proceedings within the Home Chamber as a result of ongoing public well being emergency.”
High Democrats on Friday reacted strongly to the information, first reported by CNN.
“Apparently hypocrisy has turn out to be a tenant of the Republican Occasion,” mentioned Home Guidelines Chairman Jim McGovern, a Democrat of Massachusetts. “Let me get this straight: these Members cannot vote in individual due to the pandemic, however they handle to attend CPAC? They have been even maskless at this tremendous spreader occasion. It is outrageous!”
Republicans aren’t the one ones who’ve misused this course of.
Democrats prior to now have signed comparable letters, saying they could not attend due to the general public well being emergency, voting by proxy as an alternative although their failure to point out up had nothing to do with the pandemic.
Certainly, Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy final 12 months whacked two Florida Democratic congressmen — Charlie Crist and Darren Soto — for attending a SpaceX Launch whereas signing the letter saying they could not attend the votes.
“One other Democrat caught claiming he could not come to DC to vote ‘as a result of ongoing public well being emergency,'” the California Republican tweeted on the time. “However he was OK to attend a rocket launch.”
This story and headline have been up to date with extra reporting.