A New Jersey congressman who created a stir last month by attending a remote committee meeting in his underwear has cast only a single vote from the House floor since the chamber moved to allow proxy voting last May, according to a report from CNN.
Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark) has voted remotely on every bill and resolution that came before his chamber since May 15, 2020, except the vote to impeach Donald Trump over his role in the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.
Patrick Wright, Payne’s communications director, was out of the office and did not immediately return an email seeking comment, though he told CNN Payne eschewed in-person proceedings because he is diabetic.
Persons with diabetes are more likely to face serious symptoms after contracting the virus. Travel difficulties posed by the condition have caused Payne to miss some votes before the Pandemic.
Wright told the cable news channel Payne planned to return after more members of the House were vaccinated.
House rules allowing proxy voting were due to sunset on July 3, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) on Monday extended its lifespan to mid-August. The rule must be renewed every 45 days.