Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is under fire for excusing herself from Congress by citing the COVID-19 pandemic before heading to Mar-a-Lago for a fundraiser with former president Donald Trump.
Stefanik, the third-ranking Republican in the House, on Tuesday filed a letter with the chamber's clerk saying, “I am unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency.” Stefanik designated another Republican lawmaker to vote on her behalf.
On Tuesday night, Stefanik and Trump raised $3 million at Mar-a-Lago, where the former president proclaimed that "she’ll be president in about six years.”
On Thursday, two Democrats who hope to unseat Stefanik in 2022 blasted her for using COVID as excuse for her absence from Congress, in a story published by WNNY.
“For her to cite a global pandemic as a reason for missing work, but then to go to Florida for a fundraiser for herself is just wrong,” said Democratic candidate Matt Putorti.
“You don’t get to lie to your constituents, vote against their interests and spend more time at Mar-a-Lago then you do in Massena or Malone and keep your job. And I consider this really a dereliction of duty,” said Matt Castelli, another of Stefanik’s challengers.
Stefanik’s senior adviser, Alex DeGrasse, fired back in a statement."Congresswoman Stefanik was one of the 108 members of Congress who voted by proxy on Tuesday," DeGrasse said.
“One of the top priorities of her constituents is to fire Nancy Pelosi once and for all, and Congresswoman Stefanik is proud to be a leader in that effort while the Far-Left Democrats are so desperate because, once again, they will get outraised, outworked, outmatched, and lose in this district. We can’t wait to see more abysmal fundraising numbers showing virtually no support for the phony Socialist Democrats who just moved to the district from New York City and Poughkeepsie.”