A Democratic congressman from Hawaii who ran for office, committing to give full-time to his constituents, has been found absent from the legislature for most of this year.
Instead, he is working as a pilot in his home state of Hawaii, while drawing the full salary of a lawmaker.
Progressive Dodges His Constitutional Duties
Reportedly, Rep. Kaiali’i Kahele has personally shown up to Capitol Hill only three times this year, where he cast his vote five times.
Apart from that, he cast the rest of his 120 votes by proxy, meaning he let his colleagues cast his vote on his behalf, while he was busy doing his other job.
A rule passed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is helping the congressman in dodging his duties. During the pandemic, Pelosi allowed proxy voting in the House, which is letting Kahele not show up in Congress in person.
"Kahele, too, continues to work as a Hawaiian Airlines pilot, a job that paid him nearly $120,000 in 2020, according to his most recent House financial disclosure report. As a member of Congress he earns an annual salary of $174,000." https://t.co/KxbL81WH8r
— Zach C. Cohen (@Zachary_Cohen) April 11, 2022
According to the Civil Beat, the congressman never left his job as a pilot and earned $120,000 in 2020, the year of his successful election to Congress. Besides that, he is earning $174,000 as a congressman.
Kahele defended his continuous absence from Congress, stating new COVID variants and his “multi-generational home” are disallowing him to travel to Capitol Hill on a daily basis.
Issuing a lengthy rebuttal to his criticism, his office told Fox News the reports regarding the absence of Kahele are “intentionally misleading” and deliberately question his commitment to his role as a lawmaker.
According to the statement, Kahele wants to reduce his “exposure” for the sake of his own health, as well as the well-being of his loved ones.
His office also emphasized the congressman did not miss even a single vote with proxy voting, so his voting record is still 100 percent this year.
The office went to great lengths in defending the actions of Kahele, as it mentioned the congressman complies with all the ethics rules of the House, which are allowing lawmakers to earn a part-time income of $29,892 in 2022.
Thus, the office continued, Kahele only flew three flights and had 14.2 flying hours, so he earned only $28,61.90 in 2022 up until now. Similarly, he earned almost $29,151.79 last year.
As he works as a commercial pilot, he is bringing a “unique perspective” to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. This is also encouraging all pilots, cabin crew, and air cargo operators, the office claimed.
Rep. Kai Kahele defends his part-time work as a commercial pilot for Hawaiian Airlines, saying the arrangement complies with House Ethics rules https://t.co/1dvCk1wio1
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 13, 2022
The Lawmaker Vowed to Dedicate Time to the Country
This is the same congressman who entered the legislature with the ambitions of shifting his three daughters and wife to Washington, D.C. to avoid a 13-hour flight to his hometown every week.
However, the actions of the progressive Democrat are absolutely in denial of his claims.
After winning the election, he gave an interview to Fox News in which he envisioned hosting barbecues, playing baseball, and going to church with other lawmakers so the path toward bipartisanship could be paved.