Pelosi announced the extension under the advisement of the House sergeant-at-arms in a “Dear Colleague” letter on Friday. The exception allows lawmakers to have colleagues cast votes for them if they are unable to be physically present on the House floor, and it was first introduced in the early days of the pandemic as a precautionary measure.
Republicans do not generally favor the practice, questioning whether the practice is constitutional and pointing to a number of abuses. Though the form members sign requires lawmakers to say they are absent solely for pandemic-related reasons, many have used it to skip work without affecting their voting records.
Through mid-April, Reps. Al Lawson (D-FL), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Albio Sires (D-NJ) voted entirely by proxy. Roybal-Allard and Sires are retiring after the 2022 elections.
Proxy voting came under new scrutiny when it was revealed that Rep. Kai Kahele (D-HI) had rarely traveled to Washington, D.C., while maintaining his job as a commercial airline pilot.