Democrat # 2 in the House of Representatives said on Tuesday that he was optimistic about the party’s chances of returning to the Senate in November after losing control in the 2014 elections.
Speaking to reporters during a conference call, majority leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat who has represented southern Maryland since 1981, responded to attacks by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell on plans to allow members to vote without being physically present. The “Republicans” opposed the “proxy vote”, which they s aid was unnecessary and reflected a procedural takeover by the Democrats.
“I think the political attacks are unwarranted and will not have the effect it wants,” said Hoyer. In fact, polls show that Republicans are currently vulnerable in the United States Senate. I think that’s what really worries him, that I think we have a good chance of winning back the majority of the United States Senate. “
McConnell made fun of the prolonged absence of the Democratic House last week since the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, hesitated to bring the 432 lawmakers home.
“At this point, I wonder if we should send senators to pick up their newspapers and water the plants,” said McConnell.
McConnell said the proxy plan, which allows absent members to vote “yes” or “no” by proxy in specific votes for other members present, violates the Constitution.
“There will be huge constitutional questions about everything the House will do if it fails to demonstrate a true quorum but continues anyway,” said the Kentucky Republican.
Watch:Chamber adopts measure that allows members to vote without being physically present
Hoyer said the Senate routinely uses a similar process to pass legislation without all members being in the room. By unanimous agreement, the Senate often adopts an uncontroversial law with only two senators present, one on the floor and the other in the presidency, provided that none of them object. .
“Ninety-eight people vote for power” in these situations, said Hoyer. “They call it” unanimous consent “, but it means that two people vote for the 100.”
Republicans in the House of Representatives planned to file a lawsuit to block the new proxy voting system, he said. a Wall Street Journal report Tuesday
McConnell on Fox News last week said the pandemic had little impact on the Senate elections.
“The races haven’t changed much. It was always going to be a difficult cycle,” he said.