Photo credit: Joe Raedle
Charlie Crist has gone AWOL on his taxpayer-funded day job in Congress. New reports reveal Crist has voted in person only four days this year, making him one of the top abusers of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proxy voting rules. Crist’s absence has also extended to congressional hearings, including at least five closed briefings with top military officials.
“Charlie Crist has shamelessly abandoned his responsibility to the Floridians he represents in Congress as he desperately chases a promotion that will once again remain out of his reach,” said RGA spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez. “His office in the Capitol is regularly shuttered during business hours and he continues to claim COVID prevents him from showing up to do his job while running around Florida.”
Read excerpts from The Dispatch’s reporting below and their full story here:
“According to voting data reviewed by The Dispatch, Crist was present for 18 votes over the course of March 2, March 3, March 8, and March 9. Crist’s colleagues have cast the rest of the Florida Democrat’s votes on his behalf while he has skipped the trek to the nation’s capital.
“Instead of voting in person, Crist has taken advantage of the House’s proxy voting rules. Established by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi near the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, proxy voting allowed members to participate remotely for the first time in the House’s history. It was intended as an emergency measure to prevent the spread of the virus and to keep lawmakers and their families safe.
“That isn’t what Crist is using the system for.
“Lawmakers who vote by proxy must submit letters citing the ongoing pandemic as the reason for their absence. Crist has not publicly disclosed having a case of COVID at any point in the pandemic, and he wrote in February that it was “time to get back to normal” and live in the new phase of coronavirus “without major disruption to our lives.” His social media accounts, meanwhile, show he has held campaign events in Florida on days he voted by proxy in the House…
“But Crist’s lack of participation extends beyond votes on the House floor. He hasn’t been speaking at most congressional hearings—skipping opportunities to exercise oversight and debate legislation, despite the option to join remotely.
“When The Dispatch reviewed this year’s hearings in the committees Crist is assigned to, we were able to find only one public hearing appearance by Crist in 2022.”