GOP senator skips coronavirus hearing to fly on Air Force One with Trump

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Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) missed the hearing to hang out with Donald Trump in Arizona.

Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) did not attend a Senate hearing Tuesday on the federal government's coronavirus response so she could take a trip on Air Force One with Donald Trump.

The Senate Banking Committee, of which McSally is a member, held a hearing with Brian Miller, Trump's nominee to be special inspector general for pandemic recovery at the Treasury Department. Miller, currently a White House lawyer, would oversee more than $2 trillion in coronavirus response spending if he is confirmed.

Instead of participating in the hearing, McSally flew to Arizona with Trump.

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McSally bragged about her trip with Trump on social media, posting a selfie with two other Republican members of Congress preparing to board Air Force One. In the photo, none of the members wore face masks or maintained distancing of six feet, both included in guidelines the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended to slow the spread of the virus.

The hearing started at 2:30 p.m. Air Force One departed for Arizona, with McSally on board, at 10:20 a.m.

With Trump, McSally toured an Arizona factory that makes protective equipment, including face masks.

"Martha McSally isn't elected, but it's still her responsibility to show up for work and do her job making sure that there is proper oversight of taxpayer-funded COVID-19 relief spending," Brad Bainum, a spokesperson for the Arizona Democratic Party, said in a Thursday email. McSally was appointed to her position, vacated by Republican Jon Kyl, in 2018, after losing her own 2018 Senate race to Democrat Krysten Sinema.

McSally's office did not respond to a request for comment.

McSally has previously displayed a lack of interest in conducting oversight of the Trump administration.

In early April, Trump fired Glenn Fine, the acting Pentagon inspector general and the person tasked with chairing the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee created under the CARES Act.

When asked about the firing during a mid-April tele-town hall, McSally dismissed the question, saying, "I'm not dialed into the Washington, D.C., drama and those things that are happening."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.