The campaign for Congressman David Young has been running TV ads highlighting Axne’s use of a proxy vote to stay home and not show up to vote. Iowa Field Report decided to look into the claims and find out exactly what is going on.
Nancy Pelosi pushed for a change in the rules for how the U.S. House of Representatives conducts its business back in May. House Resolution 965 allowed for the use of proxy voting – where one member can allow another member to vote on their behalf – and passed on a party-line vote with no Republican support. This was the first time in the country’s history where members of Congress were allowed to proxy vote. Through a Civil War, two world wars, other epidemics and pandemics, and even ricin and anthrax attacks on the capitol in the weeks after September 11th, Congress members were still required to show up in person to vote. In fact, Republicans sued over this rule change, citing the process as unconstitutional.
This rule change gives Representatives an out to not show up for votes, which is the basic duty of an elected official. Axne has used this process to skip work three days this year – days where some pretty important bills were debated and voted on. These days included legislative action on The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, Washington D.C. Statehood, bills relating to fixing the Affordable Care Act, drug price negotiations for Medicare, financial relief from high health care premiums, and evection protection during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also failed to show up on the floor of the House on Saturday, August 22nd, to debate and vote on a bill relating to the Post Office. Just days earlier, she had publicly called for U.S. Postmaster Louis DeJoy to resign.
Axne has been silent not only on where she was and why she didn’t show up on the House’s floor those days – but she has also been silent on the fact she used the proxy vote process in the first place. Nowhere in her press releases or her social media posts – including specific ones she issued and posted on the George Floyd police reform bill and the Post office reform bill – does she tell her constituents she had someone else cast her votes for her. Unbelievably, Monday night during her debate with Young – Axne LIED on camera saying she’s never missed a vote.
Below is a breakdown of the votes Axne missed according to the congressional record.
All a Representative has to do is submit a letter to the Clerk of the House stating, “due to the ongoing public health emergency” they cannot “physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber” and designate who their proxy is. The Congressional Record, the official journal of the proceedings of the House of Representatives, does not record who votes by proxy – the voting tallies are printed as if the Representative was actually on the floor. The process has already been abused when Democrat Representatives Charlie Crist and Darren Soto used the proxy vote to attend a SpaceX launch instead of flying to Washington to vote. Representative Joe Kennedy used it to stay home and campaign instead.
The man who has been voting for Cindy Axne – and the constituents of Iowa’s Third District, which she represents – is a far-left East Coast Representative from Maryland named Jamie Raskin. He proudly lauds himself as one of the most liberal members of Congress. He supports doing away with the Electoral College and co-wrote an editorial with Sen. Elizabeth Warren advocating for national ranked voting. According to Project Vote Smart supports raising income and corporate taxes on any tax bracket.
This whole thing should raise red flags for Republicans and frankly any voter. While many “work to live,” Iowans are notorious for our “live to work” attitude. Iowans show up. The fact that Cindy Axne has not been showing up and allowing someone else from another state to vote for her, and not disclosing it to constituents flies in the face of what we were raised to do.