Sidelined Congress under pressure to move to remote voting

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, have both expressed opposition to remote voting, insisting that lawmakers can fulfill their duties without making such tradition-shattering changes in the way Congress operates.

But their resistance is running up against mounting logistical and political challenges, and rank-and-file members — as well as some senior lawmakers who once resisted the idea and scholars who study the issue — say the current ad hoc method of legislating is both untenable and antithetical to the way Congress is supposed to work.

“I think sentiment in the entire Congress is changing about this,” Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland, said in an interview on Tuesday. “When we took our first vote and then came back to our districts, I think the plan was just to stick with the existing rules. But as the boxer Mike Tyson said, ‘No plan survives getting punched in the nose.’ We’ve all been punched in the nose by the coronavirus.”

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