A group of House Republicans has banded together in what seems to be a concerted effort to officially overturn the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill.
A group of ten House GOP members came together to file an amicus brief in support of a recent lawsuit set out by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that seeks to toss out the omnibus spending bill which was pushed through back in December 2022. The legislators made the claim that the House proxy voting rule established during the COVID pandemic meant that this omnibus bill had not been legitimately passed. Paxton first put forth the suit back in February, attempting to toss back the bloated spending bill on the same grounds.
“For 231 years, Congress has met in person,” stated the Republican members via their brief, as reported by The Hill. “The Constitution’s requirements survived wars, pandemics, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and numerous other crises through history, and Congress had never voted by proxy to enact bills before 2020. This is undoubtedly due to the Constitution’s language that establishes physical presence is necessary in the People’s House.”
“The House of Representatives’ adoption of proxy voting rules was unconstitutional on the day that it was announced; this Court therefore has the power—indeed the duty—to review and adjudicate the constitutionality of legislation enacted due only to proxy voting,” the members stated. “In doing so, it should hold that the Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits, because the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 cannot be sustained as a proper exercise of Congress’s power to enact legislation.”
The group of 10 members who banded together to sign the brief included: Reps. Chip Roy (TX); Morgan Griffith (VA); Andy Ogles and John Rose (TN): Harriet Hageman (WY); Andy Biggs (AZ); Clay Higgins (LA); Warren Davidson (OH); Gary Palmer (AL); and Matt Rosendale (MT). The Mountain States Legal Foundation was chosen to file the brief on behalf of the large group of members.
The Texas Attorney General first filed this suit back in February. The lawsuit makes the claim that because only 201 members of the House of Representatives –which represents roughly half of the total number of available voters — were actually in the chamber on the day that the House was slated to vote on the omnibus bill, there was no quorum present. Because of that fact, the House could not do any business at all while still abiding by the Constitution.
“The House nevertheless purported to accept the Senate’s amendments to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 on that day,” read the suit. “It did so under a House Rule that allowed absent members to vote by proxy. But the Constitution defines absent members as excluded from ‘a Quorum to do Business’ and therefore unauthorized to vote to enact legislation—by ‘proxy’ or otherwise. Though President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, his signature was a nullity because the act never ‘passed the House of Representatives.’ The Court should declare that the Consolidated Appropriations Act has not been enacted and is not law.”
This suit is trying to secure a ruling that declares that the Consolidated Appropriations Act was adopted in violation of the Constitution, and is therefore unlawful.