From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms
Proxy Voting / Polling
The practice of permitting a member to cast the vote of an absent colleague.
Proxy voting is permitted only in Senate committees if committee rules allow them. Senate Rule XXVI provides that proxies may not be voted when the absent senator has not been informed of the matter on which he is being recorded and has not requested that he be so recorded.
Proxy voting is a practice whereby an absent senator authorizes a second, present, senator to cast her vote in addition to their own during a committee markup meeting. When polling, a committee or subcommittee asks its members to approve questions relating to legislation or internal committee business without formally meeting. Under Senate rules and precedents, committees have significant freedom to regulate their use of proxies and polls. Proxy votes may not be used, however, to constitute the quorum necessary to successfully order a committee report. In addition, senators must be informed about and affirmatively request to vote by proxy on the motion to report. With respect to polling, Senate rules do not permit committees to order a measure or matter reported to the Senate by poll.
Also see Pair.
- Chapter 3.E. Markups in Congressional Procedure
- Proxy voting – Wikipedia
- “Proxy Voting and Polling in Senate Committee,” CRS Report RS22952 (13-page PDF)
- “House Committee Markups: Manual of Procedures and Procedural Strategies,” CRS Report R41083 (220-page PDF)
- “The Prior Practice of Proxy Voting in House Committee,” CRS Insight IN11372 (6-page PDF)
- “The Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform,” CRS Report R45111 (10-page PDF)
- “Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multi-employer Pensions Plans: Structure, Procedures, and CRS Experts,” CRS Report R45107 (14-page PDF)
- “Resolving Legislative Differences in the Congress: Conference Committees and Amendments Between the Houses,” CRS Report 98-696 (40-page PDF)
- “Senate Committee Rules in the 115th Congress: Key Provisions,” CRS Report R44901 (36-page PDF)
- “Senate Rules Affecting Committees,” CRS Report 98-311 (13-page PDF)
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