[La Crosse, WI] – In case you missed it, Ron Kind claimed COVID hardship as his excuse for missing House votes this week while he joined Joe Biden on a campaign stop instead. While Biden was visiting Wisconsin, Kind used the proxy voting system to indicate that he was “unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing health emergency” while he was eating ice cream in La Crosse.
After Ron Kind’s team made the bogus claim that talking about electric buses relates to coronavirus, it’s clear that Ron Kind is perfectly willing to deny the obvious and doesn’t respect his constituents enough to tell the truth.
Read more from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel below:
Rep. Ron Kind claims COVID-19 hardship to vote by proxy while he joined Biden visit to La Crosse
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
July 1, 2021
Citing a hardship due to the pandemic, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind was able to play hooky from Congress for a couple of days this week and still cast votes on a handful of bills and resolutions.
Kind spent Tuesday hanging out with President Joe Biden, a trip that included a stop for treats at The Pearl Ice Cream Parlor in La Crosse. The president was in western Wisconsin touting the $1.2 trillion infrastructure proposal hammered out with a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
Despite going MIA from his day job, Kind was able to get an excused absence because he claimed the pandemic prevented him from attending Monday and Tuesday’s floor session in person. Kind was then permitted to vote on seven bills by “proxy” with the help of a rep who was present.
Among the measures was one to remove all Confederate statues from public display in the U.S. Capitol and to repeal two-decades-old authorizations of the use of military force in the Middle East.
“I am unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing health emergency,” the La Crosse Democrat wrote in a letter to the clerk for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Republicans accused Kind of abusing the proxy voting system for reasons unrelated to COVID-19.
“Ron Kind simply doesn’t level with the public and is perfectly willing to deny the obvious,” said Anna Kelly, spokeswoman for the state Republican Party.
“Whether he’s claiming to be a moderate while supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker or claiming a health emergency is causing his absence on the House floor when the entire world knows he’s at a campaign stop with the president, Ron Kind just doesn’t respect his constituents enough to tell them the truth.”
But Kind officials pushed back on the criticism, saying Biden was not making a campaign stop in La Crosse but was an official visit to Kind’s hometown.
Beyond that, Sharon Abel, Kind’s communications director, also tried to make the case that Biden and Kind did discuss issues related to the coronavirus.
“(Kind) used this opportunity to talk to the president about the impact the ongoing pandemic has had on Wisconsin and how the recovery efforts are helping,” Abel said. “He also had the opportunity to discuss with the president directly ways we can increase vaccination rates in Wisconsin.”