Letter to the Hon. Cheryl Johnson, Clerk of the House of Representatives - Johnson Leads Coalition Calling for Public Disclosure of Proxy Voting


Dear Ms. Johnson,

We write to call your attention to a discrepancy we have noticed with respect to the depiction of Members' proxy voting status in official House documents subsequent to the passage of H.Res. 965.

As you know, House Rule XX, clause 2(a) requires the Clerk to "publish in the Congressional Record...the names of Members recorded as voting in the affirmative, the names of Members recorded as voting in the negative, and the names of Members answering present..." for all recorded votes in the House.

Moreover, H.Res. 965's proxy voting provisions must be reflected in the Congressional Record "to the greatest extent practicable." To that end, the Congressional Record for both May 27, 2020 and May 28, 2020 correctly denotes the Members who served as proxies and the Members who voted by proxy on those dates.

However, the roll call vote results found through the Clerk's website make no such indication of Members' proxy status for votes cast on May 27 and May 28. The absence of such a denotation is troubling because citizens who research voting records on congress.gov are directed to roll call vote documents listed on the Clerk's website, and not the Congressional Record.

We believe this discrepancy creates an inaccurate representation of the official business conducted on the House Floor on those dates, during which more than 70 Members voted by proxy. The roll call tally found on the Clerk's website should draw the same distinction between Members that is found in the Congressional Record--indicating which Members were physically present, which Members voted by proxy, and which Members served as proxies.

In the interest of ensuring transparency and depicting House Floor proceedings in the most accurate manner possible, we respectfully ask that you update the roll call vote documents found through the Clerk's website for May 27 and May 28, 2020, to show Members' proxy status. Additionally, we ask that you denote Members' proxy status on all roll call vote documents listed on the Clerk's website through the entirety of the "covered period" as defined by H.Res. 965. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.