3 House Dems blamed pandemic for needing proxy votes, but were touring Ford plant with Biden

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A handful of Michigan Democrats used the House’s proxy voting policies to pawn off their vote so they could attend an event with President Biden at a Ford Motors plant in the Wolverine State.

Reps. Haley Stevens, D-Mich.; Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich.; and Dan Kildee, D-Mich., each signed a document granting their vote by proxy to one of their Democratic colleagues in the House for the vote series on May 18, 2021.

Each of the documents cite the "ongoing public health emergency" due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason they gave their votes to their colleagues for proxy.

However, the reason Kildee, Stevens and Slotkin missed votes was that they were touring the Ford Motors facility in Dearborn, Michigan with Biden. All three were among the Democrats attending the event, the Detroit News reported on Tuesday.

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Slotkin also discussed the Biden visit in an interview from Tuesday and Stevens teased on Monday that she would be taking part in the visit.

A spokesperson for Kildee told Fox News that the congressman and the other members had to take a "commercial flight" to the event with Biden because they weren’t able to travel on Air Force One with the president.

"Unfortunately due to the pandemic, members of Michigan’s congressional delegation were unable to travel on Air Force One with the President to Dearborn," the spokesperson said. "As a result, Members had to take a commercial flight, hours after the presidential visit ended, that required them to vote by proxy."

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"Congressman Kildee was honored to attend with the President, whom he has been working closely with to expand electric vehicle production and create good-paying jobs in Michigan," the spokesperson added.

Neither Stevens nor Slotkin immediately responded to Fox News’ requests for comment.

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Some Republicans have also been caught using proxy voting to hit campaign events, as well, with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and others using a proxy to vote while attending CPAC.

Proxy voting is a new phenomenon in the House started during the COVID-19 pandemic that allows lawmakers to have another one of their colleagues vote in place for them if they are unable to attend votes.