Langevin Statement on House of Representatives Revised Proxy Voting Proposal

May 13, 2020 Issues: Cybersecurity, Vote

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus and a member of the United States Cyberspace Solarium Commission, issued the following statement regarding Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern’s revised proposal for proxy voting in the House of Representatives. Congressman Langevin, who first proposed an e-Congress capability following the September 11 attacks, praised the initial resolution from Chairman McGovern when it was released last month.

“Once again, I commend Chairman McGovern for overseeing a deliberative process while drafting this resolution to allow proxy voting. The proposed changes to the House Rules are absolutely necessary to ensure that members of Congress can continue our vital legislative and oversight functions, while protecting public health. I strongly believe that we need a capability for conducting Congressional business if we are unable to meet in Washington, DC; however, I also believe that there are very real cybersecurity concerns that must be addressed before such a system goes live. The McGovern resolution appropriately allows for in-person proxy voting for the duration of the public health emergency, and it holds open the possibility of remote voting if a secure system can be developed and verified. This approach balances the many risks to Congressional operations very well. Between the proxy voting proposal and the ability for House committees to work remotely, I have every confidence we will be able to carry out our Constitutional duties in accordance with recommendations from the Office of the Attending Physician to maintain maximum and effective telework.

“This step cannot be the end of our conversations on continuity of Congress. We need a permanent framework that will account for remote Congressional operations and for the possibility of the death or incapacitation of a significant number of elected representatives. I look forward to continuing to work with Chairman McGovern to address these issues going forward.