Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is now on board with remote voting after Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) became the first senator to test positive for the coronavirus Sunday.
In a Monday morning tweet, Graham said that remote voting would allow the Senate to continue operating amid the outbreak and urged that the change should be made before senators leave Washington, D.C.
I totally support the idea of remote voting so the Senate can continue to operate during this crisis. We should make this change before the Senate leaves town. https://t.co/6bui3ehM8Q
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 23, 2020
Graham wasn’t always pushing for remote voting, however. CNN’s Manu Raju tweeted Monday that when he asked the South Carolina Republican about remote voting last week, Graham said he’d consider it if the outbreak “gets worse” but otherwise “we’re fine.”
This is a shift for Graham, reflecting the growing concern among senators. Asked last week if there should be remote voting, Graham told me: “If it gets worse, yeah, but I think we're fine.” https://t.co/KpYxHfKq50
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 23, 2020
Graham’s new stance comes the morning after the Senate failed to pass a procedural vote on the coronavirus stimulus package. Although Senate Republicans are in the majority, five of them are currently in quarantine, which include Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) deciding to self-quarantine in light of being in close proximity to Paul shortly before his diagnosis.
During a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House Sunday evening, President Trump said that his administration is looking “very strongly” at figuring out how lawmakers can start voting remotely.
“It is a question, a very good question,” Trump said. “I don’t know if you can do it constitutionally, but we are considering letting people vote — senators, congressmen and women — from a separate location.”