An ethics watchdog told Breitbart News they would ‘investigate’ Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA) after she admitted to taking a vacation during the proxy vote last month on ‘historic’ legislation , although she told the House Clerk it was due to “the ongoing public health emergency.”
The executive director of the Foundation for Civic Accountability and Trust (FACT), a nonpartisan ethics watchdog, Kendra Arnold, told Breitbart News: “Every time a member of the House makes false statements to the Clerk and to the American people, it is very concerning.”
Iowa’s WHO-DM aired a segment on Sunday that included a clip of Axne saying she was on a “planned” vacation with her family as she claimed to be “unable to physically attend proceedings in the chamber of the House due to the ongoing public health emergency” in a signed letter sent to the Clerk of the House on August 12, ultimately showing that the member was lying.
“This is a deliberate abuse of the system and dishonesty,” continued FACT’s executive director. “If a member of the House is not present to vote due to a vacation, it is not possible to submit false declarations to the clerk. FACT will consider filing an ethics complaint with the Congressional Ethics Office.
As previously reported, Axne sent a letter to the Clerk to authorize his Democratic ally, Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), to vote by proxy and pass the $700 billion ‘Cut Inflation’ Bill. passed by a 13- margin vote – 220 to 207.
Fox News reported that footage shows the congresswoman was reportedly vacationing in Europe around the same time she voted by proxy. The only Democratic congresswoman from Iowa, who is up for re-election this year, appeared in pictures on Instagram on her son’s account.
The photos were shared to Instagram on Aug. 11, captioned “France Pt. 1.” They showed Axne standing alongside her husband and son, according to the outlet, noting that the photo was “apparently deleted… after Fox News Digital inquired about the trip”.
Following the passage of this law, Axne’s official Twitter account, operated at taxpayer expense, Lily“PASSED! I just voted YES on the #InflationReductionAct – a landmark bill to cut health care costs, cut prescription drug prices, cut energy costs and so much more.
Members are permitted to vote by proxy, meaning a House member can vote on behalf of an absent member, beginning in 2020. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) extended proxy voting several times, with the current extension. until November 10, after the midterm elections.
Each time, Pelosi cited the “public health emergency” due to the coronavirus. However, there has been controversy surrounding the ability to vote by proxy. Some insiders believe it is a way for the speaker to allow vulnerable members to campaign, while others call proxy voting unconstitutional.
Last week, House Republican leaders unveiled to GOP members at a conference the party’s new “Pledge to America” plan, a group of policies designed to help them and their candidates communicate effectively the GOP’s vision in the midterm elections.
The final section of the political agenda indicates that the GOP would end the use of proxy voting for members of Congress, in addition to pushing for election integrity measures, including voter identification and poll watchers.
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.