Vulnerable New Jersey Democrat Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ), whose district houses a military base, abused the proxy voting rule in September to miss the in-person vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), blaming his absence on the “ongoing public health emergency.”
Kim claimed that he was unable to attend the votes in the House in his letter filed with the Clerk in the House on September 23, due to the “ongoing public health emergency” in the world. Instead, it appears that Kim celebrated his child’s birthday. Kim authorized leftist Democrat Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) to cast votes while he could not be there in person.
While Underwood was casting votes on Kim’s behalf, he missed the in-person votes on September 23 for H.R. 4350, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, which gives funding for the military in the upcoming fiscal year. Underwood voted in favor of the bill for Kim.
On the same day, September 23, he tweeted a picture of his son, who turned six on that day. He wrote: “Happy birthday today to my 6 year old son Austin and to Bruce Springsteen! Two of the most important guys in my life. @springsteen.”
— Andy Kim (@AndyKimNJ) September 23, 2021
Additionally, on September 23, the same day as the vote, Kim held a Telephone town hall on the NDAA and the Afghan refugees and resettlement.
He called the NDAA “the single most important issue” that his committee works on during Congress during the town hall. However, it was not important enough to attend the in-person votes.
Breitbart News has continuously reported on the House Democrat efforts to abuse proxy voting since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has extended the ability for House members to proxy vote.
Initially, proxy voting was only supposed to be in effect for 45 days during the height of the pandemic, so members could cast votes without risking travel. Since then, Kim has joined the growing list of Democrats to abuse the capability:
- Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) used the proxy vote, saying he could not vote in Congress but could attend the space launch.
- Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-NY) used proxy voting after admitting he wanted to return home and spend time with family since it “would only be suspension vote.”
- Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), to save Pelosi’s partisan Capitol security funding bill, switched to proxy voting after saying he would not due to “family responsibilities.”
- Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI), Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), and Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI), all members of Michigan’s Democrat Congressional delegation, claimed they were proxy voting due to the “ongoing public health emergency” but were able to attend President Joe Biden’s visit to their state.
- Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), all members Wisconsin’s Democrat Congressional delegation, were found in a report to be abusing their proxy voting privilege, some using it to take off early on the last day of voting for a possible long weekend.
- Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) claimed to be proxy voting due to the coronavirus; however, on the same day, her campaign began paying nearly $1,700 for travel to a 5-star luxury hotel in Miami Beach. She later bragged about voting “yes” on a bill done by proxy.
- Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) claimed the “ongoing public health emergency” was reframing her from voting in person but attended an event with President Joe Biden to promote the so-called bipartisan infrastructure package and attend an NBA game, maskless.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), earlier this year, during a press conference, said that he would end the proxy voting capability when Republicans take back the House in the midterms. He also said the rules in the House under Pelosi do not make any sense, and he has since affirmed his position on that.
Additionally, early last year, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), while making a television appearance, said that proxy voting is “unconstitutional,” and any significant pieces of legislation passed under the rules “will be challenged.”
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.