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Proxy Voting In Congress – With Congressman Bruce Westerman:What is proxy voting? Why would we allow ballot harvesting in the US Senate? Why would Pelosi allow COVID-positive members to come in to vote for her; but insists on proxy voting for other matters? Why hasn’t the Speaker changed her position after new revelations regarding COVID “misinformation”? Why are Democrats still trying to mask the truth about the pandemic? Tune in to hear this eye-opening broadcast with Congressman Bruce Westerman!

Air Date: 06/16/2021

Guest:Congressman Bruce Westerman

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live, we’re talking about the hot topics of the day, all kinds of policy and either political issues, but all issues that affect your life and affect my life, they affect our backyards, our businesses, our families, our churches. And we always want to look at those issues from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. ‘

We’re here with David Barton. He’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders, and Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders, and I’m Rick Green, a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. Learn more about us at wallbuilderslive.com where you can also get archives of the program. And that’s the place where you can make that one-time or monthly contribution. Check it out today at wallbuilderslive.com.

David, Tim, we got actually a topic today that may be unknown to most people listening today: they probably have not dealt with proxy voting. I never had that in the Texas Legislature. So I don’t know how it exactly works. 

Does that mean you get to vote for one person or more people? Anyway, what is proxy voting? And why is it good or bad for the Congress, but let alone Congress? I mean, some state legislators might be trying to do it, but it’s an issue in the Congress right now?

David:

Now, let’s back up and look at elections in general for a minute. Because if you think back to the 2020 election, there were a lot of controversies that came up, one was ballot harvesting. Now a number of states have banned ballot harvesting, and allows one person to go around and collect all these rows from people they want, and carry it in and count those votes and ignore the ones they don’t. 

Now we also wanted in-person voting, we thought that was very significant, you need an ID, you need to be able to show who you are. So we wanted security to be able to know that the person who was voting was actually the person who was voted in, etc.

Election Integrity

So we did all these things, and now we’ve seen since the 2020 election, there have been more than 400 laws introduced across all 50 states trying to secure election and make it more secure, and keep the integrity of elections. And so the very things that the Democrats were pushing for, whether it be ballot harvesting, or you don’t need in-person voting, you don’t need voter IDs. That’s what they’ve done in Congress.

And I really dislike the fact that the Democrats so often show contempt for history and for institutions. So whether it be for stuff in the past, whether it be for heroes, or for whatever it is, they just don’t like that stuff. And they’re doing the same thing with voting. So what’s happened is now that Nancy Pelosi is in, she blames us on COVID. 

But she says, you know, we just need fewer congressmen showing up to vote, because COVID is such a serious thing, and we can all spread to each other, and we can all kill each other. And so here’s what we’re going to do. 

We’re going to allow every single congressman to ballot harvest 10 other votes from other Democrat congressmen and those other Democrats don’t need to come into the House. That one person can carry in the extra 10 votes.

So what happens is, instead of having, let’s say, there’s 230 Democrats, whatever it is, instead of having 230 Democrats show up, we only need 20 to show up and they’ll all carry with them 10 extra votes and the other Democrats, so that way there’s fewer people in the chamber. This is ridiculous. 

I mean, we’ve had this institution going since 1789 and we’re going to fundamentally change? We’ve required in-person voting all that time. You didn’t have proxy voting. It’s not been allowed because it’s so easy to be fraudulent, you can’t actually prove what’s going on.

And so now we’re doing ballot harvesting in the US House of Representatives. It’s an abominable practice. It’s something that Pelosi brought in. 

But it reflects how bad they are in other voting issues as well. But nonetheless, Republican Congressman Bruce Westerman out of Arkansas, great guy from Arkansas, has stepped up and introduced a petition with a lot of other members saying, we’ve got to end this proxy voting. 

We need to go back to in-person voting. It’s a great idea, great plan, and Rick, as you said, is not getting much national attention, which is why we thought it’s worthy covering here because this is a historical and a constitutional issue.

A Moment from American History

Rick:

Stay with us, folks, we’re going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back with Congressman Bruce Westerman.

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Many today assert that religion is something private that it has no place in the public square and that it is incompatible with government. But the Founding Fathers believed exactly the opposite. They held that religion was absolutely necessary in order to maintain our free system of government.

For example, John Adams declared “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.” And signer of the Declaration, Benjamin Rush, similarly affirmed “Without religion, there can be no virtue, and without virtue, there can be no liberty. And liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”

The Founding Fathers understood that limited government required public morality from the people and that public morality was produced by the Christian religion. For more information about the Founding Fathers views on religion and public life, go to wallbuilders.com.

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. Honored to have congressman Bruce Westerman with us, Congressman, thanks for some time today.

Welcome Bruce Westerman

Bruce:

Hey, great to be with you. Glad we get a chance to visit, appreciate the work that WallBuilders does.

Rick:

Well, thank you, sir, right back at you. And appreciate you are working to end this whole proxy voting thing. Now, before we get to the letter that you guys all sent to Speaker Pelosi to try to end this, can you just explain to our listeners, what is proxy voting and why is that not good for our federal government?

Bruce:

Yeah, well, proxy voting is where you give your vote somebody else to cast it for you. And under the cover of the pandemic, Speaker Pelosi pushed through a rule in the House that says that you can vote by proxy, which means that one person can cast the vote for up to 20 people. So what that actually does is consolidates power with the Speaker, because these members aren’t coming in to be seen to vote. And if you’re not there in person, you’re not there having debate.

Rick:

And that wasn’t allowed before, right?

Bruce:

First time ever.

Rick:

This is new. That wasn’t allowed before?

Bruce:

Yeah. You know, we made it through the Spanish flu, we made it through World War I, World War II, the Civil War. Never in the history of the country have we done proxy voting. But this created the perfect opportunity for, I believe, the Speaker to just consolidate her power and to do this proxy voting. 

Proxy Voting

And it’s actually more than proxy voting, it’s also when it comes to committee hearing, we’re doing those remotely now. So you can log on to, I say Zoom, but it’s actually WebEx is what they use, and you have your witnesses testifying from one part of the country and members from all across the country. And you have these hearings that are, if it wasn’t so serious, it would be comical the way some of them go.

I serve as the ranking member on the Natural Resources Committee. And we have jurisdiction over the territory. So we actually had a hearing one morning, where we have people in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, in Guam, the Northern Marianas, and American Samoa, as well as all across the country.

So, we were even different days, and not just time zones. But there were people that were 12am and 3am, and then 11am, the day before kind of scenario. And you can imagine the bad internet connection.

So it’s really not a way to do what the word Congress means, which is to come together and to debate. And so a lot of getting lost in the hearings that we have and the markups that we have, and then you can vote remotely. And I decided to write a letter to the Speaker, and asked her to end this process of proxy voting, asking her to follow the science, but way over 70% of health members have been vaccinated. 

And the science tells us that, after we’re vaccinated, we can go about normal lives. And that’s what Americans are doing across the country, and Congress should be leading on this.

And I was able to get you all the Republican leadership and every ranking member of every committee signed this letter because we realized the dangers of proxy voting and having remote hearings. But that’s been a couple of weeks ago, and we’re still proxy voting and having remote hearings.

The Hypocrisy of the Speaker

Rick:

Well, and Bruce, let me ask you this, going back to January when the Speaker was reelected as Speaker, she didn’t seem to have a problem with everybody coming in the House to vote for that.

Bruce:

Now, there’s a lot of hypocrisy here, because that was before the vaccine, that’s when the cases were high, but literally, had two Democrats come in, COVID positive and cast their votes for her for Speaker because there wasn’t a rule that would allow you to proxy vote for the Speaker. So they had to come in in-person to vote for the Speaker, and it was going to be a tight vote. 

And we had a couple of Republican members that did not come in because they hadn’t tested positive for COVID, but they’ve been around someone and they’re quarantining. And they found out it like 9am on the morning of the vote, that afternoon that Democrats were coming in who had actually tested positive for the Coronavirus, so our members couldn’t get there to vote in time. 

And I think that just highlights the double standard that’s there. And it’s really not about COVID. It’s about control.

Rick:

No, that’s a great point, because it seems like you said, follow the science. And it seems like the sciences is not being followed. It’s just raw power. It’s just using this to manipulate the process to gain more power, is that a fair description?

Bruce:

I think that it’s to a tee. You know, it’s follow the science until the science isn’t convenient for the message that we’re trying to put out. And, of course, we’re still having to wear masks when you’re on the floor of the House, if you don’t have to wear them when you’re in your office in DC. 

Here’s another one. I refuse to do remote hearings or remote markups. So if I’m going to be voting, even in committee, I’ll go to DC. 

And I can go to the committee room, but I have to carry my laptop in there, and do the hearing remotely. And the rule that they have is that I have to wear my mask while I’m in the committee room, even though there’s nobody else in the committee room…

Rick:

You got to be kidding. Sitting there by yourself?

Bruce:

Yeah.

Nonsensical

Rick:

Congressman, you pointed out the hypocrisy of this thing and how Speaker Pelosi had no problem dragging everybody into the House chamber, even when they had COVID to get her vote done. But now she’s making it possible to consolidate her power by having members be able to gather a lot of votes together in proxy vote for folks. You guys, you have about 30 or 35, 36 folks or 34 folks on this letter, what do you think the numbers are in the house on saying no to this proxy voting?

Bruce:

No. On the Republican side, I would say 100%. And I think some Democrats would want to end it, but they’re not going to probably go against Speaker Pelosi?

Tim:

Well, Bruce, if I could jump in for a second, and what we know right now from data that’s being released is approximately 75% of Congress has been vaccinated, and the other 25% have had the opportunity to be vaccinated. And at this point, if everybody’s had the chance to be vaccinated, or they’ve been vaccinated, then it really doesn’t make sense that now we’re saying we need to keep separate, because what finally the CDC is acknowledging is that once you have the vaccine, it’s okay for you to be around people, again, especially those who have been vaccinated. 

And so now it seems to continue to expose the hypocrisy of the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi his agenda, where they’re saying that we still don’t want Congress to be in session, even though the vast majority have already been vaccinated?

Time to Get Back to Work

Bruce:

Exactly. And what does that tell the rest of the country where people need to go back to work, need to go back to school? Congress, by CDC guidelines has herd immunity. Everybody’s had the opportunity to have the vaccination. 

And we should be getting back to work and setting the example, I should say setting a good example, instead of setting the bad example they were setting now. And again, I think it has nothing to do with healthcare, I think it’s all about consolidating power.

And another thing when you’re voting by proxy, the votes go a lot longer. So it gives the Speaker an excuse not to do amendments and debate on the floor, because the votes are going to take too long. And it just all plays into the politics and the narratives that Speaker’s trying to put out to the country.

Tim:

Well, Congressman, I think at this point, there’s no question. A lot of what’s happening is more politically motivated than anything based on science. But if we’re going to talk about science for a moment, there’s certainly been a lot of conversation recently with Dr. Fauci’s emails being revealed that he was telling the American people a lot of things that simply weren’t true. 

Do you think now that some of that evidence is coming out about what we really now know more about, whether it be with the Wuhan lab leak theory or whether it be with masks and so much that we’re now finding out from even Dr. Fauci’s positions from his emails, do you think that might change any of the conversation between the Republicans and Democrats in Congress to maybe help remove some of this proxy voting? 

“Science”

Or do you think it’s such political posturing that it doesn’t matter what the science actually says or doesn’t even matter that Dr. Fauci is getting exposed, and Nancy Pelosi is still going to maintain this position?

Bruce:

Yeah, well, I think she’s already had time to reverse the position that she’s taken, and she’s not, so I think she’s dug in on it. And I’m hoping she will change. But I’m not putting a lot of expectations out there for her to change your position. 

I haven’t had a chance to read the emails from Dr. Fauci, but I have read a lot about the email from Dr. Fauci. But I can tell you this, he was giving me whiplash all during the pandemic, because one week, you’re supposed to wear masks, or you shouldn’t wear masks, the next week you should wear a mask.

And he goes to the baseball game and doesn’t wear a mask. And he’s just all over the board on the gun that he was putting out. So I quit listening to him a long time ago.

Rick:

That’s just common sense, right, somebody keeps telling you a different story, you stop putting faith and trust in them. It is amazing how many Americans still, whatever Fauci says they’re going to follow it. And of course, as we mentioned earlier, it’s raw power for the politicians in DC that have control right now. 

So Speaker Pelosi is going to use whatever he does to just keep consolidating her power. But man, it just seems like he should have lost all credibility by now.

Trust Fauci?

Bruce:

Well, as far as I’m concerned, he’s often a long time ago. But I think his actions are going to be exposed and people are going to realize that, I don’t know what his motivation was, or if he’s incompetent, or I don’t know. But I know he was always telling different stories and changing his story. And I can’t deal with people giving me information like that.

Rick:

Well, do you expect in any chance of forcing a vote on the proxy voting? Or do you think as long as Speaker Pelosi wants it, she’s going to be able to keep it?

Bruce:

Yeah, I think she’ll be able to keep it as long as she wants. But she controls what goes on the floor for a vote. And if she doesn’t want that to change, she can see that, I guess, has the benefit of the majority, you can make the rules. 

And even if they don’t have fans, but that gives me motivation to work really hard so that we can get back into majority in a couple of years and end the nonsense.

Rick:

How much congressmen is the stretching out this pandemic and making people feel like we’re still in it, even though we really aren’t? How much of that is necessary for the Democrats to keep doing these massive, massive relief packages and other spending? Is that why they want everybody to keep wearing masks and keep thinking that we’re still in the throes of a pandemic?

Bruce:

Well, I think, maybe to use upon, it’s masking what they’re actually doing. I think they want to keep the pandemic in the headlines. And they don’t want the American public to see the policies that they’re pushing and the detriment to our country that is creating. 

Unemployment

One of the things I hear about daily, and multiple times most days is in my home state of Arkansas, employers cannot get people to go to work. Now fortunately, our governor has said he’s going to reject the extra federal unemployment payments here in June.

My friend Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota, she never took those unemployment payments. She was telling me months ago that their unemployment was below 2%. And there are so many jobs out there. But when the government’s paying you not to work, even if you’re not making as much money as you could make working, it’s a lot easier to do that than to actually get up and go to a job.

So they’re passing those kinds of policies using the pandemic as an excuse. But there’s a lot worse policies that they’re trying to get past that I don’t really think they want people sitting around their dinner tables talking about it. You know, the President’s budget takes the Hyde Amendment. 

He proposes no funding for the enforcement of the Hyde Amendment. You know, he’s already going after the Mexico City policy, through his executive orders on not producing energy on federal lands, shutting down pipelines, these are hurting Americans they want to get up and go to work every day, and they’re having their job canceled by the stroke of a pen by the federal government.

Rick:

Yeah, that’s a really good perspective. It’s not just the using COVID to pass certain things, it’s just using COVID to keep people focused on COVID so they can do all these other massive changes to the American way of life that have nothing to do with COVID. Yeah, I mean, that’s, like we said raw power, they’re going to continue to use it.

Bruce:

Talking about this infrastructure package that if you stretch as far as you can, you might say 25% of it is what you would consider real infrastructure and the other 75% is social programs, which got the goal, you know, another method of left is change the dictionary to create a new lexicon. So you hear terms like social infrastructure, and I’m like oh, what is social infrastructure? It’s a term made up the left to justify spending more money that we don’t have.

A Better Chance in 2022

Rick:

Well, man, you’ve got your work cut out for you. I know, the majority right now is so, so close to you. Do you sense some hope among your colleagues that, as they continue to push way left, the Democrats do, that that gives you an even better chance of a majority in 2022?

Bruce:

Yeah, I believe so. You know, we’re five seats shy right now. There’s going to be a lot of redistricting around the country. You’re seeing seats added to Montana, to Florida, to Texas. 

And, you know, we’re going to keep talking about the issues and the policy and the things that I think are important to Americans. I’m on the Natural Resources and Transportation Committee, and we cannot have a hearing without sometimes of social, environmental, or climate justice in the title of it. And I think people are just sick and tired of hearing about that.

Rick:

Yeah, no doubt, well, man, we’re going to obviously be looking closer at the races as they begin to heat up later in the year and the primary races are going to be important. And actually, let me ask you about that before we let you go. Y

ou know, Republican majority doesn’t mean conservative majority, we all know that. Do you think that there will be more actual constitutional conservatives running in the Republican primaries in this next round in response to the radical leftist shift of the country?

Recruiting

Bruce:

Yeah, you know, we picked up seats in last election in the House, and all the pundits are saying, we’re going to lose 20 or 30 seats, and we picked up 15 seats. And we did that a lot of it on candidate recruitment. We had a lot of females, a lot of veterans, and minorities that won those 15 seats. And we have more candidates in the last election than we’ve had in, maybe ever, I think we set a record for candidates in the last election.

And we’re already doing a lot of recruiting across the country. I think you’re already hearing about Democrats announcing their retirement from Congress and I think you’re going to see a lot more of that as we get closer to the next year. And the next elections coming up, I think, they’re going to look at the landscape.

And look at the votes they’ve had to take and decide, it’s not really the career they want to be. And so we’ll create those open seats, and get good candidates. And hopefully, they are conservative constitutionalists that want to do what’s right for the country.

Rick:

Awesome, good news on the horizon then, hopefully a perfect storm. A lot of different things happening to bring us to a good election result in 2022. Congressman, we sure appreciate your time today. 

And thank you so much for calling in, and spend some time with us. And thanks for bringing attention to this proxy vote and in this very bad change in Congress, and hopefully our listeners can let their members of Congress know what they think about it. But we appreciate your time, and thanks for staying in the fight.

Bruce:

Thank you, Rick, good to be with you.

Rick:

Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.

The AMERICAN STORY

Hey, guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have at WallBuilders called The American Story. For so many years, people have asked us to do a history book to help tell more of the story that’s just not known or not told today.

And we would say very providentially in the midst of all of the new attacks coming out against America, whether it be from things like the 1619 project that say America is evil, and everything in America was built off slavery. Which is certainly not true or things, like even the Black Lives Matter movement, the organization itself, not out the statement Black Lives Matter, but the organization that says we’re against everything that America was built on, and this is part of the Marxist ideology. There’s so many things attacking America.

Well, is America worth defending? What is the true story of America? We actually have written and told that story starting with Christopher Columbus, going roughly through Abraham Lincoln, we tell the story of America not as the story of a perfect nation of a perfect people. But the story of how God used these imperfect people and did great things through this nation. It’s a story you want to check out wallbuilders.com, The American Story.

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. Special thanks to congressman Westerman, appreciate his time. Obviously, very busy in Congress right now. But man, I guess you can’t stop this. It sounds like it Pelosi is going to have her weigh on this proxy voting as long as she’s Speaker?

Tim:

Yeah, it’s one of the things we talked about often is that elections have consequences. And when you elect a party, even as Bruce mentioned, there’s some Democrats who don’t support this in general practice, but they’re going to stay in step in line with the party right now. And so when you elect a party to power that has this kind of ideology, and certainly they’re not following the science, there’s all kinds of hypocrisy, there’s vaccinations, they’re still required to wear masks.

Proxy Voting In Congress – With Congressman Bruce Westerman

And there’s already been some videos out there where Nancy Pelosi, right after she gave this really passionate speech about how they’re going to be safe. And they’re going to socially distance and wear masks that night. She was at the White House hanging out with a bunch of people not wearing masks. 

So you see, there’s a lot of theater involved in what’s happening. But this is probably part of why you see the Americans rising up and they’re frustrated, they don’t want to deal with this anymore. And they’re ready for a regime change at this point.

And it’s why probably you’re going to see a big difference come this next midterm election, where Republicans are likely going to be back in charge. We’re already seeing these changes happen to school boards, and you’re already seeing things happen in state legislative bodies, where they’re coming out and restricting the power of the governors and specifically the ones that have abused their power. 

You’re seeing the American people begin to wake up and get back involved, and this will change in the future.

Rick:

Alright, guys, well, we’re out of time for today. Folks, thanks for listening today. You can learn more at our website wallbuilderslive.com, also get some archives of the program there. Thanks so much for listening to WallBuilders Live.