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Texas AG Wins! Congress Must Be Physically Present to Pass Spending Bills



In a recent decision by federal Judge James Wesley Hendrix, declared “proxy ruling” exceptions are in violation of the Quorum Clause, which states that members of congress need to be physically present in-house chambers to vote on bills.

Despite any distractions that are used as excuses to vote while not present.

The Federalist reported on the initial lawsuit:

In February, the Texas attorney general sued the Biden administration, arguing the House of Representatives lacked the constitutionally mandated quorum to pass the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. Paxton is now seeking a preliminary injunction to bar the federal government from enforcing the law.

As Paxton details in his brief supporting Texas’ motion, when the House purported to pass the $1.7 trillion spending bill on Dec. 23, 2022, it lacked a quorum because only 201 representatives were present. Yet the House proceeded with the vote, counting votes of both the 201 present lawmakers and adding to the tally an extra 226 votes those lawmakers cast on behalf of absent members who had appointed them as “proxies.”

The House clerk recorded the bill passed — with 225 yea votes, 201 nay, and 1 present — relying on a rule originally adopted in May of 2020 that allowed members to “designate another Member as a proxy” to cast their votes if “a public health emergency due to a novel coronavirus is in effect[.]” Biden later signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act on Dec. 29, 2022, purporting to make it law and providing appropriations for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2023.

But the House Proxy Rule violates the quorum clause of the Constitution, Paxton argues in his lawsuit against the Biden administration, and thus the Consolidated Appropriations Act never became law.

While many were happy to hear the news, some were perplexed as to how this is actually a win.

After all, the money is already spent, or floating around somewhere, never to be returned…


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One Comment

  1. John Resse John Resse February 28, 2024

    This is interesting …. NOW this maybe a stretch and I may lack some history here … was not the Income tax and or the Federal Reserve Act done with out quorum and now the question begs was it done with proxie votes . IF so ? Can they be over turned … of course this is a huge leap this day and age . It assumes that the rule of law is respected … and it is not .

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