Welcome to our resources on Continuity of Congress, including legislative actions, reports & analyses, video briefings, simulated remote proceedings, state & international actions, news, and more.
See our Timeline of Remote Deliberations and Voting (continuously updated).
Congressional Actions
~ House of Representatives ~
117th Congress COVID-related Rules and Announcements:
House Rules Regarding Conduct During a Covered Period (1/4/2021)
House Remote Proceedings Regulations (1/4/2021)
House Proxy Voting Regulations (1/4/2021)
117th Congress Remote Voting Notices & Extensions:
Twelveth period:
* Speaker extension of covered period (8/13/21)
Eleventh period:
* Speaker extension of covered period (6/28/2021)
Tenth period:
* Speaker extension of covered period (5/17/2021)
Ninth period:
* Speaker extension of covered period (4/2/2021)
Eighth period:
* Speaker extension of covered period (2/10/2021)
Seventh period:
* Speaker extension of covered period (1/4/2021)
116th Congress Remote Voting Notices & Extensions:
First period:
* SAA notice of ongoing health emergency (5/19/2020)
* Speaker announcement of covered period (5/20/2020) (expires July 4, 2020)
Second period:
* SAA notice of ongoing health emergency (6/26/2020)
* Speaker extension of covered period (7/5/2020) (expires August 19, 2020)
Third period:
* SAA notice of ongoing health emergency (8/12/2020)
* Speaker extension of covered period (8/19/2020) (expires October 3, 2020)
Fourth period:
* SAA notice of ongoing health emergency (9/29/2020)
* Speaker extension of covered period (9/30/2020) (expires November 16, 2020)
* Speaker announcement (9/30/2020)
Fifth period:
* Speaker extension of covered period (11/16/2020)
Sixth period:
* SAA notice of ongoing health emergency (11/28/2020)
116th Congress Additional Materials and Provisions
Certification by House Admin Cmte Chair Lofgren to Speaker Pelosi that operable and secure technology exists to conduct remote voting in the House of Representatives. (11/10/2020) See also publication in the Congressional Record.
Staff Report on Feasibility of Remote Voting in the United States House of Representatives,” Committee on House Administration (11/10/2020)
Exploring the Feasibility and Security of Technology to Conduct Remote Voting in the House,” Cmte on House Administration, Chair Lofgren’s Opening Remarks (July 17, 2020)
First Proxy Vote Cast by Rep. Boyle on behalf of Rep. Lofgren (May 27, 2020)
House Republican Lawsuit on Proxy Voting (May 26, 2020)
Remote Voting by Proxy,” Dear Colleague letter from House Clerk regarding implementation (May 20, 2020)
Procedures for House Session on Friday, May 15, 2020,” Sergeant at Arms and Attending Physician (May 14, 2020)
H. Res. 965 “Authorizing remote voting by proxy in the House of Representatives and providing for official remote committee proceedings during a public health emergency due to a novel coronavirus, and for other purposes. “ (May 13, 2020)
(Passed by a vote of 217-189 on May 15.)
Remote Voting by Proxy Regulations
Remote Committee Proceedings Regulations
House Rules Report & Dissenting Views
Rules Committee Hearing Video
Dear Colleague Letter from Rules Chair McGovern
Ranking Members’ Letter (in opposition)
Minority Letter on Remote Meetings,” Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan and Subcommittee RM Ken Buck (May 11, 2020)
Statement on Proposal Put Forward by Republicans on the Virtual Congress Task Force,” Majority Leader Hoyer and Chairs Lofgren & McGovern (May 5, 2020)
A Plan for the People’s House: Four Strategies to Reopen Congress,” Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (May 4, 2020)
Hoyer Sends Letter to House CAO and Attending Physician on Plans for Resuming Capitol Operations,” Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (May 1, 2020)
I'm chairman of the House Rules Committee. We need to change the way Congress operates.” Chair James McGovern (April 28, 2020)
Hoyer Statement Following the Virtual Congress Task Force's Second Meeting,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (April 28, 2020)
The House Must Get Back to Work,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (April 28, 2020)
NDC Leadership Remote Voting Virtual Committee Proceedings Letter,” New Democrat Coalition (April 26, 2020)
Dear Colleague on Combating the Coronavirus,” Speaker Pelosi announces the creation of a Bipartisan Task Force (April 24, 2020)
"Chairman McGovern Releases Statement on Bipartisan Task Force" (April 22, 2020)
House Resolution to Allow Remote Voting by Proxy and Remote Committee Work During a Pandemic Emergency, included in a Dear Colleague Letter by Rules Chair McGovern (April 22, 2020)
"Majority Leader Letter on Remote Voting and Committee Work," by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (April 21, 2020)
"Madam Speaker: It’s Time for Congress to Get Back to Work," by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (April 21, 2020)
Chairman McGovern Statement on Presentation to the Democratic Caucus Recommending Implementation of Temporary Remote Voting During this Pandemic,” House Rules Committee (April 16, 2020)
Call for Leadership to Develop Alternative Approaches to Legislative Business,” Problem Solvers Caucus (April 7, 2020) 
Dear Colleague to All Members on Electronic Submission of Floor Documents, from Speaker Pelosi (April 6, 2020)
Letter calling for virtual legislative meetings and hearings, New Democrat Coalition (April 2, 2020)
Letter to the House Rules Committee from 67 Members of the House, drafted by Reps. Katie Porter and Eric Swalwell (March 23, 2020)
Majority Staff Report Examining Voting Options During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” House Rules Committee Democrats (March 23, 2020)
Coronavirus Information and FAQs (including guidance for House Offices) Committee on House Administration (constantly updated)
~ Senate ~
S.Res.201 - A resolution amending the Standing Rules of the Senate to enable the participation of absent Senators during a national crisis. (April 29, 2021)
Feinstein Statement on McConnell Decision to Reopen Senate,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (April 29, 2020)
How Congress Can Vote Remotely,” Senators Rob Portman & Dick Durbin (April 28, 2020)
"Providing temporary emergency authority for absent Senators to cast votes outside the Senate Chamber." Senate Resolution introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (April 21, 2020)
"Committee Releases Details for Updated Hearing Process in Response to COVID-19 Recommendations," Senate Armed Services Committee (March 25, 2020)
S. Res 548, A resolution amending the Standing Rules of the Senate to enable the participation of absent Senators during a national crisis,” introduced by Sens. Portman and Durbin (March 19, 2020)
~ Litigation ~
Follow the Republican lawsuit challenging proxy voting (McCarthy v. Pelosi) here.
~ Research ~
Continuity of Congress: A Timeline of Remote Deliberations and Voting,” Taylor J. Swift, First Branch Forecast (updated weekly)
Where Each Member of Congress Stands on Remote Voting,” Demand Progress (continuously updated)
Constitutionality
Decision of GOP lawsuit against remote covid voting rules in House of Representatives, States Court of Appeals For The District of District Circuit (July 20, 2021)
Constitutionality of remote voting by proxy in the House of Representatives, Letter from Dean and Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, Berkeley School of Law (May 13, 2020)
The Quorum, the Constitutional Convention, and the Coronavirus: Some Questions,” Mark Strand and Tim Lang, Congressional Institute (May 5, 2020)
Continuity of Senate Operations,” (see legal analysis starting on page 8), Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Staff Memo (April 30, 2020)
Testimony before a Simulated Virtual Hearing on Remote Voting in Congress,” Daniel Schuman, First Branch Forecast (April 18, 2020)
Letter to House Rules Chairman on scope of Congress’ constitutional authority to regulate its voting procedures, Professor Deborah Pearlstein (April 16, 2020)
Zoom Congress Is Perfectly Constitutional,” Deborah Pearlstein, The Atlantic (April 16, 2020)
Constitutional Considerations of Remote Voting In Congress,” Congressional Research Service (April 14, 2020)
The Constitutionality of Remote Voting,” Michael Stern, Point of Order (April 11, 2020)
Implementation of
Remote Proceedings
President signs into law the first bill passed using proxy voting (House GOP lawsuit challenging constitutionality of proxy voting is pending). (June 5, 2020).
Proxy Letters” from Members designating, changing, and revoking the authority for remote voting by proxy, House Clerk (continuously updated).
Remote Proceeding Pioneers,” Marci Harris (May 7, 2020)
Select Committee Host Virtual Member Discussion,” House Select Cmte on the Modernization of Congress (May 7, 2020)
Remote Participation by Senators in Nomination Hearing, Senate Judiciary Committee (May 6, 2020)
Remote Participation by Sen. Sherrod Brown, Senate Banking Committee (May 5, 2020)
Virtual Forums on Coronavirus Response and Ebola Response, House Homeland Security (May 1, 2020)
Roundtable - Continuity of Senate Operations and Remote Voting, Senate HSGAC Subcommittee on Investigations (April 30, 2020)
Forum on Preventing Mass Layoffs, Congressional Progressive Caucus (April 29, 2020)
Hoyer Holds Chairs Meeting Over Videoconference,” Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (April 29, 2020)
Virtual Committee Forum, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee (April 28, 2020)
The House Must Get Back to Work,” (Emergency funding for remote operations and tech modernization.) Coalition of Organizations (April 20, 2020) 
Summary and Analysis: House Rules Committee Democrats Report on Remote Voting,” Demand Progress (March 23, 2020)
Memo: Continuity of Legislatures,” Demand Progress (March 17, 2020)
“​Recommendations to Congress on Continuity and the Coronavirus,” Coalition of Organizations (March 12, 2020) 
“​Recommendations to the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress Regarding First Branch Continuity of Government,” Beeck Center, PopVox and Demand Progress (October 19, 2019)
Video Briefings & Simulations
Video Briefing: “Continuity of Congress: Virtual Panel Discussion,” Future of Democracy Lecture Series, GovLab et al (May 13, 2020)
Video Briefing: “Two virtual panel discussions for Clerks and parliamentary staff to share best practice on delivery of parliamentary democracy,” Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (May 5 & 6, 2020)
Video Briefing: “How Congress Can Work Remotely,” Civic Hall (April 24, 2020)
Video Briefing: “Congress and COVID-19: Is Remote Legislating and Oversight Possible?” The Cato Institute (April 23, 2020)
Video Briefing: “Simulated Remote Hearing featuring former Members of Congress, General David Petraeus,” (April 16, 2020)
Video Briefing: “Continuity of Congress: How Legislatures Around the World Are Working Online During the Pandemic,” Beth Noveck, GovLab (April 16, 2020)
Video Briefing: “Legislating in a Pandemic: Strategies for States,” State Innovation Exchange, Demand Progress, and Popvox (April 2, 2020)
Video Briefing: “Mock Remote Hearing and Markup with former Reps. Brian Baird and Bob Inglis,” Demand Progress and PopVox (March 25, 2020)
Video Briefing: “Continuity of Congress in the Wake of COVID-19,” featuring Daniel Schuman, Marci Harris, Norm Ornstein, Lorelei Kelly, John Fortier (March 17, 2020)
State & International
Coronavirus and the Commons: how the hybrid parliament has enabled MPs to operate remotely,” The Constitution Unit Blog (May 13, 2020)
UK House of Commons Speaker Authorizes Remote Voting (May 6, 2020)
Continuity in Legislatures: Argentina,” Dane Gambrell, GovLab (May 4, 2020)
Continuity in Legislatures: The United Kingdom’s Hybrid Approach,” Dane Gambrell, GovLab (April 29, 2020)
Parliaments Respond to COVID-19,” National Democratic Institute (April 3, 2020)
Letter: “Letter from the Speaker to the Leader urging a 'virtual' Parliament,” House of Commons (April 1, 2020)
COVID-19: The challenge of adapting and strengthening the role of parliaments,” (provides a regional overview of actions to adapt parliamentary work during the pandemic, while presenting specific recommendations from an Open Parliament perspective) Directorio Legislativo and ParlAmericas (April 2020)
Report: “CPA Toolkit for Commonwealth Parliaments: Delivering Parliamentary Democracy,” Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (April 2020)
Report: “Coronavirus: Changes to practice and procedure in other parliaments,” House of Commons Library (March 30, 2020)
Report: “Remote voting in the European Parliament and national parliaments,” European Parliament Think Tank (March 25, 2020)
Report: “Continuity of Legislative Activities during Emergency Situations,” Law Library of Congress (March 2020)
Report: “Managing Disruption: Business Continuity for Legislatures,” LABCoN (March 15, 2019).
Resource Webpage: National Conference of State Legislatures Resource Tracking the Impact of COVID-19 on State Legislatures: see the section on ‘present to vote vs remote participation
Resource Webpage: Parliaments in a Time of Pandemic: how parliaments are responding to the public health crisis by passing emergency legislation, allocating resources and adopting new ways of working using the latest innovation and technology
Resource Webpage: Crowd.Law
Resource Webpage: Legislative Assemblies Business Continuity Network
Resource Webpage: “Technology Transfer for Remote Parliamentary Systems,” Federal Senate of Brazil (includes “Manual of Technology Transfer for Remote Sessions” and “Voting Panel - Parliaments Template”)
Research
Quorum Requirements During the Pandemic and Potential Future Implications,” Sam Wice, Yale Journal on Regulation (April 6, 2020)
Preserving Our Institutions: The Supreme Court,” The Continuity of Government Commission (October 19, 2011)
The Continuity of the Presidency: The Second Report of the Continuity of Government Commission,” The Continuity of Government Commission (July 2, 2009)
Preserving Our Institutions: The First Report of the Continuity of Government Commission,” The Continuity of Government Commission (May 1, 2003)
Continuity of Congress: The Constitution, the Rules, and More,” Demand Progress (constantly updated)
Affected Legislators in the U.S. Congress,” GovTrack (constantly updated)
Opinions
The House is at last moving toward being able to govern in a crisis,” Washington Post Editorial Board (May 13, 2020)
A better way for Congress to work during the pandemic,” Washington Post Editorial Board (May 6, 2020)
Remote Voting by Congress ‘A Terrible Idea’,” Congressional Institute (May 5, 2020)
Congress must continue to move online,” Nick Schaper, The Hill (April 20, 2020)
What Happens if Congress Cannot Assemble to Do Its Work?” New York Times Editorial Board (April 3, 2020)
Press Statement: “As Lawmakers Fall Ill, Congress and State Legislatures Must Enact Continuity Plans,” Demand Progress (March 30, 2020)
Congress cannot afford to shut down during this crisis,” David B. Cohen, Taylor J. Swift, and Robert Alexander, CNN (March 27, 2020)
In This Emergency, Let Congress Work Remotely,” Daniel Schuman & Marci Harris, The Bulwark (March 25, 2020)
We Badly Need Congress to Act. We Don’t Need Congress to Act in Person,” Deborah Pearlstein, Just Security (March 23, 2020)
Congress should allow its members to vote remotely,” Washington Post Editorial Board (March 23, 2020)
Members of Congress are facing a potential crisis of government. They were warned.” Tom Mann & Norm Ornstein (March 22, 2020)
Congress Desperately Needs an Emergency Plan,” Norm Ornstein, the Atlantic (March 13, 2020) 
Big rules changes required, and quick, for Capitol Hill to respond to coronavirus,” Daniel Schuman & Marci Harris, the Fulcrum (March 11, 2020)
Modernizing Congress is a national security imperative,” Marci Harris and Lorelei Kelly, the Hill (November 2, 2019)
News
Technical difficulties mar several remote hearings,” James Bikales, The Hill (June 17, 2020)
Cheney says she remains open to remote voting, blasts proxy voting system,” Juliegrace Brufke, The Hill (May 27, 2020)
McConnell warns House Democrats over proxy voting on the floor,” Andrew Desiderio and John Bresnahan, Politico (May 21, 2020)
Historic rule change OKs House proxy votes and virtual committees,” Katherine Tully-McManus, Roll Call (May 15, 2020)
How to run the world remotely,” Jen Kirby, Vox (May 8, 2020)
Problem Solvers show how Congress can work from home with virtual floor debate,” Lindsey McPherson, Roll Call (May 7, 2020)
House attempts ‘Virtual Congress’ as remote legislation remains uncertain,” Leandra Bernstein, WJLA (May 7, 2020)
Capitol physician says Senate lacks capacity to test all senators,” Burgess Everett and Marianne Levine, Politico (April 30, 2020)
“‘We’re basically ill-prepared’: Hobbled House majority frets about its effectiveness amid pandemic,” Mike DeBonis and Paul Kane, Washington Post (April 26, 2020)
McConnell blocks Paul's proposal on emergency remote voting,” Jordain Carney, Roll Call (April 21. 2020)
Organizations push for remote floor and committee debate, not just voting,” Katherine Tully-McManus, Roll Call (April 20. 2020)
Sidelined by Coronavirus, Congressional Leaders Face Pressure to Vote Remotely,” Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times (April 16. 2020)
Pandemic ‘accelerating’ House modernization as lawmakers push for remote votes, hearings,” Jory Hechman, Federal News Network (April 6, 2020)
Why Is Congress Still Meeting in Person?” Nancy Scola, Politico (March 26, 2020)
State legislatures eye remote voting amid coronavirus outbreak,” Tal Axelrod, The Hill (March 25, 2020)
House report tables remote voting,” Katherine Tully-McManus, Roll Call (March 24, 2020)
Congress faces the prospect of tele-legislating,” Derek Johnson, FCW (March 23, 2020)
Anxiety grows in Capitol as lawmakers weigh remote voting,” Sarah Ferris, Melanie Zanona, Heather Caygle, Politico (March 19, 2020)
Congress Needs to Get Its Act Together on the Coronavirus,” Gilad Edelman, Wired (March 12, 2020)
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