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Luna, Jacobs introduce resolution to let new moms in Congress vote remotely

Jan 19

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A bipartisan group of women in the House of Representatives introduced a resolution that would allow lawmakers who give birth to vote by proxy for six weeks after their baby is born. The trio, led by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., hopes it will make it easier for current members to become moms and for young women thinking about running to have one less hurdle.

“This place is completely out of touch with average day Americans,” Rep. Luna said. “And in passing this legislation, it is the first step forward in the right direction to, I think, not just give mothers a seat at the table, but also to encourage people to have families.”

Rep. Luna is frequently in the spotlight. She sits on the House Oversight Committee and is a proud supporter of former President Donald Trump’s reelection. At many of her events, her husband isn’t far behind, pushing their 4.5-month-old son in a stroller. They stand in the hallway or in a corner waiting for mom. But even as a team effort, being a mother and an elected representative isn’t easy, especially during their commute back and forth from Florida. 

Proxy voting would allow new moms to have another member cast their vote for them while they stay home. The co-sponsors said that six weeks gives the mother enough time to heal from labor. 

Why do the co-sponsors believe this bill is important? Well, they put it bluntly: Congress is an institution mainly made up of old white men. They contend that this bill will help make Congress younger and more diverse. 

“We need more moms in Congress. And if we continue to put up these arbitrary, harmful barriers that allow women of childbearing age to actually even consider this momentous step to consider this responsibility, then we’re only hurting ourselves as Americans,” Rep. Jill Tokuda, D-Hawaii, said. 

Tokuda is co-sponsoring the resolution along with Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-Calif. 

Proxy voting was allowed and common during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Republicans said it was antithetical to the definition of Congress: “the act or action of coming together and meeting.”

They also felt it was being taken advantage of by members on both sides of the aisle. However, some opponents are willing to make an exception for new moms. 

“I’m not in favor of proxy voting in general,” Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., said. “I opposed it, I never did it. Friends called me to ask me to proxy vote for them and I wouldn’t do it, mainly because I think members abused the practice during COVID. They used to go to fundraisers, go on vacation. I mean just fake things. But you can’t fake a pregnancy.” 

Reps. Burchett, Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., and Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., are joining their women colleagues in supporting the resolution. 

Luna said both Republicans and Democrats have been hesitant to get on board, which goes against both parties’ principles.

“My party, Republican party, we champion pro-life and pro-family values, but there’s some hesitancy I think on supporting it,” Rep. Luna said. “And then on the other side, you have a pro-women platform and there seems to be some hesitance there.”

These moms, future moms and momma’s boys are eager to get this approved. They said if it doesn’t happen this year, they won’t drop it until it’s officially a new rule of the House.

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[RAY BOGAN]

It’s easy to find Congresswoman Anna Paulina Luna on Capitol Hill, whether it be at committee hearings, speaking with the press, or pushing the government to release secrets about aliens. 

She is frequently in the spotlight. 

Not far behind, is her husband pushing their 4.5-month-old son in a stroller. They stand in the hallway or in a corner, waiting for mom. 

But even as a team effort, being a mother and an elected representative isn’t easy, especially when you have to commute back and forth from Florida. 

So Luna and a bipartisan group of colleagues introduced a resolution to change House rules and allow members who give birth to vote by proxy for six weeks, which they say is enough time to heal from labor. 

[Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla.]

This place is completely out of touch with average day Americans. And in passing this legislation, it is the first step forward in the right direction to, I think, not just give mothers a seat at the table, but also to encourage people to have families.” 

[RAY BOGAN]

Why do they believe this bill is important? Well, they put it bluntly – Congress is an institution mainly made up of old white men. 

They say this will help make Congress younger and more diverse. 

[Rep. Jill Tokuda, D-Hawaii]

We need more moms in Congress. And if we continue to put up these arbitrary, harmful barriers that allow women of childbearing age to actually even consider this momentous step to consider this responsibility, then we’re only hurting ourselves as Americans.”

[RAY BOGAN]

Proxy voting was allowed and common during the Covid pandemic.

Representatives who couldn’t vote in person were allowed to have another member in the chamber vote on their behalf. 

Republicans said it was antithetical to the definition of congres s: the act or action of coming together and meeting.

They also felt it was being taken advantage of by members on both sides of the aisle. But some opponents are willing to make an exception for new moms. 

[Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn.]

I’m not in favor of proxy voting in general. I opposed it, I never did it. Friends called me to ask me to proxy vote for them and I wouldn’t do it. Mainly because I think members abused the practice during COVID. They used to go to fundraisers, go on vacation. I mean just fake things. But you can’t fake a pregnancy.” 

[RAY BOGAN]

Luna says members of both sides have been hesitant to support the resolution, which goes against what both parties stand for. 

[LUNA]

My Party, republican party, we champion pro-life and pro-family values, but there’s some hesitancy I think on supporting it. And then On the other side you have a prowomen platform and there seems to be some hesitance there.” 

[RAY BOGAN]

These moms, future moms, and mommas boys are eager to get this approved. 

They say if it doesn’t happen this year, they won’t drop it until it’s officially a new rule of the House. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.

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