Alaska’s congressman missed votes last week. He could’ve voted remotely but he doesn’t believe in it.

Republican Congressman Don Young (Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska Congressman Don Young missed six out of six votes in the U.S. House last week. He could’ve voted by proxy, but he’s against the practice.

Young announced Monday that he is adding his name to a Republican lawsuit challenging the new rule that allows House members to vote on bills without being present in the Capitol.

Young, in a written statement, said last week’s Democratic rule change to allow proxy voting endangers the House. 

“It is possible to represent our constituents while respecting the Constitution and keeping Members of Congress and our staff safe,” his statement reads. “It is possible to represent our constituents while respecting the Constitution and keeping Members of Congress and our staff safe … . While this lawsuit continues, I stand ready to work in good faith with my fellow Members to protect our Constitution and this great legislative body.”

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Seventy-two Democrats voted remotely on Wednesday, the first time it was allowed. They had to send letters to the clerk naming another House member to vote for them.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats say it’s a smart way to conduct the nation’s business while reducing the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

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Minority Whip Steve Scalise last week urged Republicans to come back to Washington and vote in person. He is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which claims proxy voting is unconstitutional.

Young’s office did not respond to questions about where he was or whether his absence had anything to do with the pandemic.