Duckworth Skips Vote to Help Holocaust Victims, Attends J Street Fundraiser Instead

Tammy Duckworth
Tammy Duckworth / AP
• June 8, 2016 11:20 am


Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D., Ill.) skipped a congressional vote to help Holocaust victims on Tuesday so that she could fundraise with the liberal Middle East lobbying group J Street, which has a reputation for promoting an anti-Israel agenda.

Duckworth ditched a Tuesday evening vote on legislation that would ensure "all Holocaust victims live with dignity, comfort, and security in their remaining years," according to the official vote tally, which showed the lawmaker was one of 70 members to not vote on the measure.

The measure also encouraged Germany to reaffirm its commitment to providing the remaining survivors, many of who live below the poverty line, with financial aid and healthcare resources.

Duckworth, who is locked in a battle to unseat Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, appears to have missed the vote to attend a 6:00 p.m. fundraiser organized by J Street, which is backing the Duckworth’s Senate bid.

The fundraiser encouraged supporters to donate anywhere from $250 to $2,700 to Duckworth, according to promotional materials circulated by J Street.

Duckworth’s absence drew criticism from Kirk’s campaign, which told the Washington Free Beacon that this is becoming a pattern for the Democratic candidate.

"Classic Duckworth," Kevin Artl, Kirk’s campaign manager, told the Free Beacon.

"She has missed votes, and even her own court hearing, so that she can attend fundraisers with Harry Reid and J Street. For Duckworth, it's politics first, and Illinois second," Artl said.

The Duckworth campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the vote.

Duckworth has earned a reputation for skipping key moments in her career.

The candidate has been enmeshed in a court case surrounding alleged efforts to silence whistleblowers who called out wrongdoing during Duckworth's time in charge of the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs.

Instead of attending one May court hearing, Duckworth hosted a D.C.-based fundraiser with Democratic heavyweight Harry Reid.

That case is currently scheduled to go to trial.