House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday extended Congress’ new remote voting into February because of a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the holidays.
The California Democrat noted an alert sent by the House Sergeant-at-Arms William Walker who consulted with the Office of Attending Physician in green-lighting the extended public health emergency.
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 led the House for the first time to allow members to vote by proxy, breaking more than 200 years of tradition.
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Mrs. Pelosi wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter that the remote voting period will now go on until Feb. 13, 2022. It was initially set to expire on Jan. 4, 2022.
“In light of the attached notification by the Sergeant-at-Arms, in consultation with the Office of Attending Physician, that a public health emergency is in effect due to a novel coronavirus, I am hereby extending the ‘covered period’ designated on January 4, 2021, pursuant to section 3(s) of House Resolution 8, until February 13, 2022,” Mrs. Pelosi wrote.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 50 members of Congress have contracted the virus.
At least 11 lawmakers tested positive for the virus since Dec. 18.
The House is scheduled to return on Jan. 10.
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