New Bill Would Let ‘mobile Congress’ Cast Votes in Their PJ’s

video conferencingA freshman House Democrat filed a resolution Friday that would allow members of Congress to vote remotely on bills from their home districts.

Rep. Eric Swalwell’s (D-Calif.) proposal for a mobile Congress would amend House rules so lawmakers can take care of business using the latest communication technologies, including video conferencing.

Swalwell, whose district is located just north of the heart of Silicon Valley, hopes the amendment will update how Congress works and allow lawmakers to spend more time at home with their constituents.

The resolution would create a secure, remote voting system so members could vote on bills that are being considered under a suspension of regular rules, meaning they require a two-thirds majority in the House to pass. The process is usually reserved for bills that are noncontroversial.

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Additionally, the resolution would allow lawmakers and witnesses to participate in committee hearings held in Washington via videoconferencing technology. Rather than jetting back to Washington to attend a committee hearing, a House member could join the hearing with a tap of a button right from his or her district office.
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