Senate Candidate Tim Ryan Uses COVID Voting Procedure 24 Times In One Day To Attend Campaign Events

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Rep. Tim Ryan, the Democratic nominee in Ohio’s Senate race, voted by proxy 24 times Wednesday in order to attend campaign events in his home state.

The ten-term Democrat from northeast Ohio attended campaign events in the Toledo area and Portage County, according to posts on his Twitter page and local news reports. Just one day before, however, Ryan submitted a letter to the clerk of the House of Representatives saying that he would be unable to “physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency.”

Democratic Virginia Rep. Don Beyer cast votes for Ryan on several amendments to the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an omnibus package that funds the Department of Defense. Ryan also missed votes on bills addressing active shooter responses and law enforcement officials’ exposure to fentanyl. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Bipartisan Group Of Reps Propose Semiconductor Supply Chain Review)

Ryan cited shortages and reliance on China made apparent by the COVID-19 pandemic as a key reason for his support of companies like Toledo Solar during his appearance at the green energy plant.

“We’ve seen through the pandemic how reliant we are on China for so many products and it’s just outrageous that we’re going to continue to go down that road,” he told NBC 24. “We need to take a stand and it will benefit solar companies here in northwest Ohio.”

Ryan’s campaign did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment on his absence from the Capitol.

JD Vance, Ryan’s general election opponent, told the Daily Caller that the missed appearances provide evidence that Ryan is a career politician.

Tim Ryan has spent 20 years in Washington, DC living off the taxpayers’ dime, while accomplishing nothing except renaming a few buildings. It’s bad enough that he’s refusing to show up to work, but it’s truly disgraceful that he’s lying to Ohioans about why he’s not showing up for it. This career politician fraud doesn’t deserve a promotion in November, he deserves a pink slip,” he said in a statement.

Ryan voted by proxy 60 times in 2021, according to an analysis from the Ripon Society. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi first introduced the procedure at the beginning of the pandemic, and the Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit from Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy challenging it.

Many conservatives have criticized proxy voting, claiming that members are abusing the procedure and lying about their absences.

“We’ve all heard the anecdotes of people going to fundraisers, Democrats and Republicans by the way. I’m not saying only the other side has abused this,” Republican Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher said at a House Rules Committee in March.

“It’s about birthdays, it’s about graduation parties, it’s about the birth of children, it’s about climate change, it’s about strokes.”