After the House chooses a speaker, it will adopt new rules. Emma Dumain at E&E Daily:
In the pandemic era, House Democrats allowed committee business to proceed remotely, even allowing witnesses to patch in by video conference to deliver testimony and answer member questions. Many Democrats said they hoped this policy would extend beyond the public health emergency. They noted it was helpful in diversifying the witness pool, particularly when it came to hearings on environmental policy, where invited experts tend to be overwhelmingly white (E&E Daily, Sept. 17, 2021). Republicans are eager to return the House to pre-pandemic normalcy and are now opting to place new limitations on remote activities when it comes to committee functions, such as making all members appear in person to debate and vote on legislation and amendments. The GOP rules package would, however, continue to allow witnesses to appear remotely at committee proceedings — as long as those witnesses are appearing in “a non-governmental capacity.” That means department heads and agency officials would have to trek up to Capitol Hill to answer to lawmakers directly rather than from the safety of a screen. The ban on proxy voting also extends to the House floor.