FACT Calls for Investigation into Rep. Dina Titus
Rep. Dina Titus Campaigned While Voting by Proxy
Washington, D.C.— August 24, 2022— Today, the non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a complaint requesting the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) investigate Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada for abusing proxy voting by stating she was unable to vote in person due to the Covid Pandemic, when the actual reasons for her proxy votes were to attend political events for her Congressional reelection campaign.
As of August 18, 2022, Rep. Titus has voted by proxy 114 times. Each time, Titus filed a letter with the House Clerk 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..." However, contrary to Rep. Titus' statement, apparently the true reason she voted by proxy on multiple instances was to campaign for reelection or attend political events.
Some examples where Rep. Titus attended in-person campaign or political events while stating to the House Clerk she was unable to attend in-person proceedings due to the pandemic are:
On January 12, 2021, Rep. Titus voted by proxy and on the same day her campaign paid for a meal at the Democratic Club, blocks away from the House Chamber.
On June 13, 2022, Rep. Titus filed a proxy letter and on the same day posted photographs to her social media account showing she attended and spoke at a political event.
On June 14, 2022, Rep. Titus voted by proxy and on the same day posted photographs on her social media account attending an in-person event to campaign.
On August 12, 2022, Rep. Titus voted by proxy and on the same day posted photographs on social media showing she was campaigning and meeting with residents.
The House ethics rules require Members to “conduct themselves at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House”. This is a broad and “comprehensive provision” that is applied to any conduct taken in a Member’s official capacity. Members are further required to adhere both to the spirit and the letter of the House ethics rules and must read all the rules and ethical requirements broadly. This includes House rules adopted "to ensure Congress can continue legislation during Covid-19," under which members are permitted to vote by proxy when needed "because of a public health emergency due to a novel Coronavirus is in effect." “The ability to vote by proxy was put in place so the House could continue conducting necessary business during the public health emergency and for no other reason. This is evidenced by the fact that in order to vote by proxy, a Member must file a statement with the House Clerk declaring the reason for the proxy vote is related to the pandemic, and, if that is not the case, the Member is making a false statement to the House Clerk. We encourage the Office of Congressional Ethics to immediately investigate whether Representative Titus violated these House rules and, if so, impose the proper penalties," said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
A full copy of the complaint can be found here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/