House GOP leaders say it’s time to dump the masks

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Oklahoma congressmen Frank Lucas and Tom Cole joined other GOP congressional leaders in telling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that it’s time to follow the science and end remote voting in the House.
Lucas is the Ranking member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee while Rep. Cole is the Ranking member of the House Committee on Rules.
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They joined other Republican leaders in sending a letter to Speaker Pelosi asking her to return the House of Representatives to regular order with the apparent end of the pandemic.
“We write today to request that you cease all proxy voting measures and all remote committee proceedings in the House of Representatives for the remainder of the 117th Congress,” stated the Republican leaders, adding “It is time we follow the science, lead by example, and fully return to work to serve the American people.”
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The letter told the Speaker that 272 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered and 75% of members of Congress were fully vaccinated.
The Representatives also pointed to the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which recommended that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting.
 “Ineffective remote procedures have hindered congressional operations for too long and should not continue for the duration of the 117th Congress,” they added.
The House has held proxy voting and remote committee proceedings since May 15, 2020.
The Republican leaders complained the “flawed system of proxy voting and extended vote times has led to exorbitant delays” on the House floor and hearings were interrupted with technical difficulties.
House Leadership Signatories: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), House Republican Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson (R-La.), House Republican Policy Committee Chair Gary Palmer (R-Ala.), National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), House Republican Conference Secretary Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), and House Republican Chief Deputy Whip Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.).
House Committee Signatories: House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), House Committee on Agriculture Ranking Member Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-Penn.), House Committee on Appropriations Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-Texas), House Committee on Armed Services Ranking Member Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), House Committee on Budget Ranking Member Jason Smith (R-Mo.), House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Ranking Member Garret Graves (R-La.), House Committee on Education and Labor Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), House Committee on Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), House Committee on Ethics Ranking Member Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), House Committee on Financial Services Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-Texas), House Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member John Katko (R-N.Y.), House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), House Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress Ranking Member William Timmons (R-S.C.), House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), House Committee on Rules Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-Okla.), House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), House Committee on Small Business Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.), House Committee on Veterans Affairs Ranking Member Mike Bost (R-Ill.) and House Committee on Ways and Means Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-Texas).
Source: House GOP press release