Congressman Lipinski Statement on House Passage of HEROS Act & Opening the Legislative Process to Remote Participation

Congressman Lipinski issued the following statement today regarding passage of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act and House approval of temporary remote voting and virtual committee proceedings.  

“I am disappointed I was unable to travel to Washington D.C. to vote on the legislation before the House today. Earlier this week, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser extended the stay at home order for our nation’s capital until June 8th citing increased cases of COVID-19 in the region. As a type-1 diabetic, traveling to D.C. to vote at this time, would go against the advice of my doctor and sets a bad example for others who face higher risks from the virus.  

“I support the HEROES Act which was passed today because I understand that it is a first step in the process of negotiating the next COVID-19 response and relief package with the Senate and the Administration. Congress must do more to help state and local governments meet current needs as tax revenues are falling far short of regular collections. We also need to provide additional support to the more than 36 million unemployed Americans and continue to ramp up our testing efforts and improve our healthcare systems to combat the virus. The HEROES Act does this and further includes important funding for roads and public transportation systems to keep America moving. But even in addressing this unprecedented crisis, we must not lose sight of the fact that the money being spent is borrowed and the debt will have to be paid. Therefore, while I believe there is a need for further spending to address this health and economic crisis to alleviate suffering, we must make sure that we do it smartly and as efficiently as we can.

“I am also pleased the House has finally opened up the legislative process to remote participation by members during the COVID-19 crisis, to allow all members to have their voices heard in the legislative process. For the first time in history, the House will permit committees to conduct hearings and consider legislation with Representatives participating remotely instead of being in the committee room. In addition, proxy voting will be permitted on the House floor and a system will be designed to eventually implement remote voting. While this is not ideal and remote voting on the House floor should have already been implemented, these are good steps forward in empowering Members rather than continuing to allow a few leaders to write multi-trillion dollar bills. I joined others in pushing House leaders to change their position on remote participation by lawmakers and I am glad that they have heeded the call.” 

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