Republican New York Rep. Lee Zeldin admonished more than 70 Democrats who voted by proxy during Wednesday’s legislative session in Congress.
Speaking outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Zeldin criticized Democrats who elected not to be present because of the coronavirus pandemic and submitted their votes through Democratic House members assembled in the chamber.
“I have a lot of colleagues who will be giving their votes to other members to vote for them,” Zeldin said. “But I think one of the keys to leading is to actually show up.”
For the first time in U.S. history, representatives submitted votes without being present amid health concerns arising from the coronavirus pandemic. All Republican members of the House attended and submitted their votes individually. Zeldin said it was “embarrassing” that Democratic House members failed to show up and vote.
Zeldin pointed out that essential workers such as grocery store workers have continued working during the pandemic and that the same should be expected of our elected officials.
“Our grocery store workers, truckers, farmers, healthcare professionals, first responders, they’ve been showing up every single day throughout this entire pandemic,” Zeldin added. “It’s important for Congress to do the same. In order to lead, it’s important to show up. I’m not just going to give away your vote to other members to cast your vote, your voice, for you, for me, no, that’s not how this works. It’s important to show up in person, and that’s why I’m here.”
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