Anna Paulina Luna wants new mothers in Congress able to vote by proxy
Anna Paulina Luna with son in Washington. Image courtesy Luna's congressional office.

Luna baby horiz
The St. Petersburg Republican became a mother in 2023, and could not vote on leave.

When U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna delivered her first child last year, she became just the 12th member of Congress to give birth. Perhaps it’s no surprise the institution offers little accommodation to mothers.

The St. Petersburg Republican during her freshman year ended up sidelined for much of 2023, unable to vote on issues — including the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy — and a number of budget issues.

The freshman Congresswoman has now filed legislation that would allow members to vote by proxy. That’s a method of voting from home introduced during the 2020 pandemic. Republicans, however, barred the practice when they won the House in 2022. Luna herself joined in getting rid of those proxy vote rules.

Still, that the process of delivering a child wouldn’t warrant the same accommodations as a risk of illness shocked Luna.

“When my son was born last summer, leadership told me I would not be allowed to vote by proxy while I recovered from childbirth. Yet, during COVID, the entire House of Representatives was allowed to do so!” Luna told Florida Politics.

“This is a double standard we can’t ignore. My resolution to amend the House Rules would allow a Congresswoman who gives birth to vote by proxy for the first six weeks after her baby is born.”

Luna’s legislation would restore voting by proxy, but only for a narrow circumstance and a short time. If passed, the bill would allow for a member to vote by proxy for six weeks, starting the day they give birth.

Her proposal would allow voting much the same as it worked during the pandemic. The lawmaker would designate a colleague to cast votes a certain way on their behalf. The legislation doesn’t allow a member to help establish a quorum from afar, but the vote would count toward passage of a measure, the same as if the Representative cast the vote in person.

“Being a new mom does not make you ineligible to represent the people who duly elected you,” Luna said. “It’s time that Congress gets with the times so that new mothers, chosen by their voters to represent them, can do their jobs.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Lex

    January 18, 2024 at 1:10 pm

    I wonder if this could be done by ADA if they will not adjust the rule.

Comments are closed.


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