Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of seventy-four. Sunrise is 5:30 AM and sunset 8:11 PM, for 14h 41m 27s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 41.3% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1776, the Fifth Virginia Convention instructs its Continental Congress delegation to propose a resolution of independence from Great Britain.
Recommended for reading in full —
Scott R. Anderson and Margaret Taylor write The House Prepares to Move Forward With Remote Voting:
On May 13, House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern unveiled H. Res. 965, his latest proposal for implementing some form of remote voting in the House of Representatives in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
So how would this plan work? Like its predecessor, H. Res. 965 is still centered on the idea of proxy voting, a practice in which one member of Congress casts a vote on behalf of another. Yet it incorporates changes that address various concerns with and criticisms of that approach—including some we previously put forward.
The revised proposal would provide for special procedures during certain “covered periods[,]” as designated by the speaker in consultation with the minority leader (or their designees). The speaker would be able to make such a designation only after being notified by the sergeant-at-arms, in consultation with the attending physician, that “a public health emergency due to a novel coronavirus is in effect[.]” Any designated “covered period” would last only for 45 days, though the speaker would be free to extend it in intervals of up to an additional 45 days through these same basic procedures. If the sergeant-at-arms and attending physician were ever to notify the speaker that the public health emergency is no longer in effect, the speaker would be obligated to terminate the covered period.
During such a period, any member of the House would be able to designate another member of the House as his or her proxy through a signed letter delivered to the clerk of the House, including through electronic means. No one member would be able to serve as proxy for more than 10 other members, and any member would be able to change this designation through the same procedures. The clerk would also be responsible for informing majority and minority leaders of any such designations or changes and for maintaining a list of designated proxies, which would be made available to the public. A designated proxy would, in turn, only be allowed to cast a vote on a matter or record his or her presence pursuant to “exact instruction[s]” from the member whom the proxy is representing, which the proxy would be obligated to announce prior to doing so. Any individuals voting through a proxy would be counted toward the quorum required for the House to conduct business under relevant congressional rules (and the Constitution’s Quorum Clause).
Separately, during a covered period, House committees and subcommittees would also be authorized to pursue a broad range of their functions remotely—including participating in proceedings, holding hearings and business meetings (which would have to be made open to the public), authoring reports, issuing subpoenas, and voting. The only exception would be for closed and executive sessions, which would still only be able to be held in person.