WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) released the following statement after taking to the House floor to bolster support for H.Res. 965, a House Resolution authorizing temporary changes for remote voting on the House Floor and virtual committee proceedings during the global coronavirus pandemic.
“Governors and mayors have ordered Americans to stay home, work from home, and avoid travel, and until we have adequate testing, or a vaccine to protect ourselves and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed, Members of Congress should do what we’ve asked our constituents to do and follow this critical guidance,” said Rep. Peters. “Some argue that because we are asking front line heroes to show up at work, we lawmakers should be required to convene in DC. That argument misses the point and dishonors our frontline workers, particularly those healthcare workers who are begging people to stay home - the more people who get sick, the harder and more deadly their jobs become.”
“As public servants, our first responders are counting on us to do our job swiftly, efficiently and pragmatically without risking more lives. If workers across America are utilizing modern technology to get their jobs done from home and are consequently slowing the spread of this disease successfully, Congress should have the capacity, confidence and courage to do so as well.”
Rep. Peters has been a dedicated advocate for the provisional modernization of the House voting system in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. As a Vice-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, he helped spearhead a letter to House Leadership and Committee Chairs with his colleagues that outlined the caucus’ COVID-19 response priorities, including a return to regular order facilitated by remote or virtual options. The group sent a follow-up letter, specifically requesting a vote to temporarily implement remote voting and authorize virtual committee proceedings until public health officials provide guidance that it would be safe for all Members and staff to physically return to the House full time.
H.Res. 965 is expected to pass the House later tonight as part of a vote sequence that includes the Heroes Act, the latest relief package proposed in the House to address the continued public health crisis and provide support for struggling families and essential workers, with funds for testing and tracing measures, key support for frontline workers, and strengthened assistance for the American people.
Watch Rep. Peters’ floor speech addressing the need for emergency remote voting, HERE.