WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) released this statement after voting against H. Res. 965 and H.R. 6800 – House Democrats’ partisan approach to COVID-19 response.
“Today, the House voted on legislation released by Speaker Pelosi earlier this week; legislation that was drafted behind closed doors, is more than 1,800 pages, and costs over $3 trillion. This legislation did not go through a single congressional committee and reads more like a partisan wish list than realistic aid to the American people. The main provisions of this misguided bill predate the pandemic and are not targeted at fighting COVID-19. Bringing members back to vote on a messaging bill that caters only to Democrats' political priorities and which will be dead on arrival in the Senate is futile – and frankly, a blatant waste of taxpayer dollars. Americans deserve a government focused on defeating this virus and getting folks back to work.
“We need to go back to the drawing board and put together a package that will receive bipartisan support. I will continue to focus on getting Americans back to work and defeating this virus by incentivizing rehiring and removing regulatory barriers to job creation, protecting small businesses, and connecting our rural communities who lack high-speed internet access.
“If that wasn’t enough, tonight, House Democrats changed over 200 years of precedent. Members are now no longer required to be present in Washington to cast their vote on behalf of the people they represent. The resolution passed today creates a dangerous new definition of ‘voting by proxy’ that runs counter to past House committee precedent, current Senate committee practice, and the Constitution. A move like this should only be done with bipartisan consensus. A 2/3 threshold is appropriate to demonstrate whether such a drastic change actually meets this test – House Democrats denied the American people that.”