Republican members of Congress are supporting a Texas-led effort to overturn the massive $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by Congress late last year.
Several members of Congress have signed onto the efforts by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R). Paxton filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Biden White House’s spending bill.
In particular, the Texas Republican argues that the bill was illegally passed because it relied on proxy voting, which he believes to be illegal.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ramps up Biden admin lawsuit over $1.6 trillion spending package https://t.co/UwQAlC9mw8
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When Congress passed the omnibus bill in December, Paxton argued that it did not have enough members present to provide a legal quorum.
The final vote, prior to Republicans taking over control of the House, was 225 in favor with 201 against. Among the members, 225 voted via proxy. President Joe Biden signed the legislation into law Dec. 29.
Paxton said in an interview that a proper quorum was necessary for such actions.
“It’s typical of any legislative body,” he said. “It was typical where I served under the House and Senate in Texas, and it’s required by the Constitution.”
Paxton is receiving reinforcement from ten members of Congress.
Ten House Republicans filed an amicus brief supporting Paxton’s motion. They argue, like Paxton, that the proxy voting system used due to the coronavirus pandemic is illegal.
The Republicans wrote that for “231 years, Congress has met in person,” even during “wars, pandemics, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and numerous other crises through history.” The first time Congress used such a proxy system was due to COVID-19.
The Republicans state that 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.”
Several prominent House members, including Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), joined the effort.
The omnibus bill almost sparked a government shutdown last year.
The Biden White House’s proposed $6.8 trillion budget includes a number of significant tax hikes, including a potential sharp increase in capital gains and corporate taxes.