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Tim Ryan Says He Uses Proxy Voting to 'Spend Time in Ohio,' But Actually Uses It to Fundraise in California

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) certainly made news on Wednesday and Thursday for his whereabouts in California, where he was fundraising in his Senate run to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). While he took advantage of proxy voting, which he claimed was "due to the ongoing public health emergency," the congressman was, in reality, campaigning in Los Angeles on Wednesday and will have another fundraiser on Thursday night. On Thursday, "Tim Ryan" was trending over Twitter as a result.


The story is not only damning because the congressman misled Americans on why he could not vote in person, though it is. And it's not only damning because he's dinged his Republican opponent, JD Vance over this, though it is. Rep. Ryan has a history of calling to make proxy voting permanent.

Despite how President Joe Biden repeatedly declared during a "60 Minutes" interview earlier this month that "the pandemic is over," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) just recently extended proxy voting until November 10, right after the upcoming November midterm elections, which take place on November 8. 

Back in July, Rep. Ryan told Spectrum News that he believed such rules should be made permanent. "I'm going to continue to use it. I mean, it’s an opportunity for me to both be in Ohio but yet cast my vote here," adding "I'm going to continue to use it." 

He also framed the issue to the local outlet as being about how members have "a lot of responsibilities in our congressional districts, a lot of responsibilities here. Kids get sick, family issues" and argued "you should still be able to cast your vote. It’s 2022, it’s not 1800. We should move on this."


"Voting records from the House Clerk show Ryan has voted by proxy at least 25 days since last September," Taylor Popielarz's write-up for Spectrum News from July 29 read. Popielarz added that "Ryan tops the list" of Ohio House members voting remotely. 

The article early on portrayed Rep. Ryan's proxy voting in a less than flattering light, given how the congressman framed wanting to use proxy voting as a way to spend time with constituents. 

Here's how Popielarz began his piece:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — When the pandemic erupted, the U.S. House of Representatives changed its rules to give lawmakers who must quarantine permission to have a colleague cast votes for them on the House floor. 

But a growing list of lawmakers, including Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, have been using the proxy voting system for a different purpose — to campaign.

Popielarz also highlighted this aspect of the article when tweeting it out and earlier that month as well.


Vance, as Popielarz also highlighted over Twitter, has gone after Rep. Ryan for his abuse of proxy voting. 

The race is considered to favor Vance, as forecasters regard it as "Lean Republican" or "Likely Republican." Decision Desk HQ describes the race as "Lean Republican," giving Vance a 66.8 percent chance of winning. RealClearPolitics also has a +1.2 lead for Vance in polls. 

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