House Dems deny pregnant Duckworth proxy vote: No rule waiver

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WASHINGTON–House Democrats on Thursday decided not to waiver its rules and allow the very pregnant Rep. Tammy Duckworth D-Ill., – remaining at home in Hoffman Estates because she cannot travel – to vote by proxy in House Democratic Caucus leadership elections next week. The matter created a bit of a dust-up as Rep. Jan Schakowsky D-Ill. went to bat for her colleague, a wounded Iraq war vet. Duckworth also had the support of the two other women in the Illinois delegation, Rep. Robin Kelly D-Ill. and Rep. Cheri Bustos D-Ill.

This inside-the-Capitol Dome-drama unfolded during a meeting where the Democrats were organizing themselves for the new Congress, sworn-in next January. Schakowsky personally took a letter from Duckworth to the caucus where Duckworth asked for a waiver from the rules that do not allow proxy voting. While there was sympathy for Duckworth’s situation – another member raised the prospect of getting a waiver to vote by proxy so she could attend a funeral. 

House Democrats, not wanting to establish a precedent, denied Duckworth the waiver to avoid sliding down that slippery slope one the other member asked for a proxy too.

A side matter in this bit of intrigue is an intra-party squabble over the top Democratic spot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where Duckworth does not support the contender backed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi D-Calif.

My column on Duckworth interested in a 2016 Senate run against Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill. is HERE.

The National Journal story on this  is HERE.


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