Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has skipped most Foreign Relations Committee hearings since 2014, a BuzzFeed News review has found.
Looking at publicly available hearing transcripts and videos, Paul's attendance at the full committee and subcommittees he is on was only verifiable at 15 of 94 hearings since 2014. Out of the 94 hearings since 2014, 12 of them were closed, and Paul's attendance could not be verified either way.
Previously, BuzzFeed News found Paul had only attended five out of 73 Homeland Security hearings since 2014.
The senator, who launched his presidential campaign several weeks ago in his home state, calls national security and foreign policy "one of the primary functions of the Federal Government" on his issues page.
A Paul aide said "Senator Paul is one of the most active members of the U.S. Senate. In that same timeframe, he has made more than 98 percent of the votes in the Senate and authored more than 50 bills and amendments, all the while maintaining a full schedule of meetings with Kentuckians in his office."
"When schedules conflict, he has chosen to spend his time hearing the thoughts of Kentuckians, and will subsequently, receive a full report of pertinent information that was missed from staff in attendance at the meeting."
Politico recently reported one of Paul's presidential rivals, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, has skipped most Armed Services hearings since coming to Washington in 2012 and his committee attendance at other hearings was sub-par.
In the 2014 midterms elections, committee attendance became an in issue in the North Carolina Senate race when current Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina blasted then-Sen. Kay Hagan for missing "half the Armed Services Committee hearings" in 2014. Sen. John McCain blasted Hagan as well for missing a hearing on ISIS for a fundraiser in New York.
Here's a spreadsheet of a review of his attendance:
In January of 2014, Paul skipped a Foreign Relations hearing on the "crisis in the Ukraine." Earlier in the day, Paul appeared on America's Newsroom and talked about the NSA.
Paul skipped a hearing on the nomination of three ambassadors. Later that day, Paul filmed a segment for On the Record where he discussed Obama making recess appointments.
Later that month, on the night of the State of the Union, Paul skipped the hearing on the nomination of Max Baucus to be ambassador to China. Paul went on CNN and Fox News later that day to discuss Obama's speech to the nation.
In February, Paul passed on a hearing on fishery treaties. That same day he was on CNN and Fox News discussing his NSA lawsuit.
That same month he skipped a nominations hearing for four ambassadors, including those to Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Later that night he went on CNN and Fox News to discuss his NSA lawsuit.
He also missed a hearing on international child abduction, and that same day he went on Fox News to discuss the surgeon general nominee.
In March, Paul skipped a foreign relations hearing discussing the Keystone pipeline. Earlier in the day, Paul was on Fox News to discuss suing President Obama.
Paul also missed a hearing on Syria. Later that night, he went on Fox News to discuss Obamacare. He also attended a fundraiser that evening in the Maryland suburbs.
In April Paul missed a business hearing. That same day he gave a speech to the Media Research Center.
In May, Paul missed a nominations hearing on three ambassadors. In the evening, he was on Fox News discussing voter identification laws.
Later, Paul missed a hearing on the Authorization of the Use of Military Force in Iraq and Afghanistan. Later in the afternoon he appeared on CNN to discuss drones and the War on Terror.
Paul also appeared at a fundraiser on the 15th for a Maryland Congressional candidate in the evening.
Later that month, Paul missed a business hearing for Foreign Relations (but voted by proxy). He also missed a subcommittee hearing on international energy that discussed Ukraine. Later that evening, he went on Fox News to discuss Russia and Ukraine.
On September 11th, Paul appears to have missed the nominations hearing of four ambassadors. Later in the evening, he was in New Hampshire for the "first in the nation freedom event."
Paul also missed a nomination hearing that month for 7 ambassadors. He went on PBS that same day to discuss criminal justice reform. He did attend a meeting on Iran negotiations that day.
In November, Paul skipped the nomination hearing for Tony Blinken, the deputy White House national security advisor, to be a deputy secretary of state. Later that evening, he was on Fox News discussing immigration and executive action.
In early December, Paul missed a nomination hearing. That evening he went on Fox News to discuss executive action.
Several days later, Paul missed a business meeting that discussed vaccines, Burma, and Hamas. He later appeared on Hardball where he discussed foreign defense and on CNN where he discussed Eric Garner's death.
On December 10th, Paul missed a subcommittee hearing on the Ebola epidemic. That evening Paul was in studio on Fox News discussing Obamacare.
In February of this year, Paul missed two hearings in two weeks on ending modern slavery. Those days he made two Fox News appearances before and after the hearings.
In early March, Paul missed a subcommittee hearing on Russian aggression. That morning Paul was on Fox and Friends discussing Iran.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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