Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia at a hearing on Capitol Hill in September 2021.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Beyer has voted on behalf of his colleagues more than 2,100 times, more than any other House member.
He told Insider that he supports continuing the controversial pandemic-era procedure, but wants more guidelines.
He also brags to his grandchildren that he “got to vote to impeach Donald Trump six times.”
For nearly two years, proxy voting has been a ubiquitous, if contested, feature of the House of Representatives.
Instituted in May 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the procedure has allowed countless members of Congress to cast votes on behalf of colleagues that attest, in writing, that they are “unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency.”
Racking up votes on behalf of one’s colleagues isn’t exactly a competition. But if it was, Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia would be the far-and-away, uncontested winner; he’s voted on behalf of colleagues over 2,130 times over the last two years.
“It’s been an honor,” said Beyer in a recent phone interview with Insider. “I think I could say I voted more than any other member of the House in the last eight years.”
Beyer suspects that his high proxy vote count may simply stem from his geographic proximity to the nation’s capital — he represents Virginia’s 8th congressional district, covering Arlington, Alexandria, and other areas just across the Potomac river from Washington, DC.
“I can get there in 15 minutes,” he noted. “People saw me doing five, six, eight, ten proxies and said, ‘oh, that’s the proxy guy.'”
And his party’s frequent use of the pandemic-era procedure has offered Beyer a rather unusual talking point — he cast more votes to impeach President Donald Trump than any other House member, taking into account both of his own impeachment votes as well as the four proxy votes he cast for fellow Democrats on January 13, 2021.
“I like being able to brag to my grandchildren, I got to vote to impeach Donald Trump six times,” he said.
Insider analyzed the data from each of the over 700 roll call votes taken by the House between May 20, 2020 until April 7, 2022, analyzing which members used the practice most frequently.
Beyer’s impressive proxy tally far exceeds that of the next most frequent proxy voter — Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey, who’s cast …read more
Source:: Business Insider