Democrats in Washington have used the cover of the Covid “health emergency” to get away with anything from forced masking to student loan “forgiveness” over the past two-plus years. But now one Democrat lawmaker is under fire for citing that “emergency” as an excuse to vote by proxy — only to go run off for a Paris vacation.
This past August, Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, requested and was approved to vote by proxy for the wrongly named Inflation Reduction Act because of the “ongoing public health emergency.” But after admitting her real reasoning for the proxy vote was to vacation in Paris, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) has called for an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics into the Democrat for her abuse of the House’s proxy voting rules.
According to FACT, Axne filed a letter with the House Clerk on Aug. 12, 2022, stating, “I am unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency and hereby grant the authority to cast my vote by proxy to the Honorable Jennifer Wexton, who has agreed to serve as my proxy.” Her request was approved, and Wexton cast Axne’s ballot in her place, voting in favor of the inflation-intensifying bill.
When an Instagram post from Axne’s son showed the representative and her family in Paris a day before the vote, however, her campaign was asked for the real reason she was voting by proxy, and the post was predictably removed. When questioned later by a reporter on the scandal, Axne admitted that she actually used the proxy to vacation in France with her family — meaning her absence had nothing to do with any “health emergency” and she therefore lied to the House Clerk.
“The deal is I’m a family member, I’m a mom of two boys and my husband,” Axne said. “We have an August session where we were out of session here and I had a trip planned for eight months, and paid for, because that was the only time that I could go, because we were out of session.”
Axne continued her excuse, stating: “Now the Senate finally got their act together and was able to pass something a year after we passed it in the House, and then an emergency vote was called and I was gone. I wanted to make sure that I voted so Iowans could have a voice because we need the Inflation Reduction Act for Iowans, and we needed to make sure we had that vote…”
Not only do the Proxy Vote Rules state that this option may only be used for Covid-19 reasons, but FACT Executive Director Kendra Arnold explained in the organization’s letter that this also violates “basic ethics rules requiring Members to act in a manner that reflects creditably on the House.”
The Office of Congressional Ethics exists to ensure that lawmakers comply with the ethics rules that Axne blatantly violated. Thus Arnold urged “the Board to immediately investigate whether Representative Axne willfully abused the House proxy voting rules and made a false statement to the House Clerk,” to ensure the congresswoman isn’t just another on the long list of Democrats who break the rules without any consequences.
Sophia is an intern at The Federalist and a student at Le Moyne College. She majors in English and intends to pursue a career in journalism.