Home » Politics » Absent Dem lawmaker sits on committee handling bills affecting his employer, Hawaiian Airlines
Absent Dem lawmaker sits on committee handling bills affecting his employer, Hawaiian Airlines
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A Hawaii Democrat who has been absent from Congress for months has a special arrangement with Hawaiian Airlines to continue to earn a living as a pilot, while helping the airline's priorities in Washington, according to a new report.
Rep. Kai Kahele, D-Hawaii, benefited from a new leave policy for Hawaiian Airlines pilots crafted after Kahele's election to Congress in November 2020 that would allow him to maintain flight status and seniority with the company while he represented Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in Washington, according to the Honolulu Civil Beat.
The arrangement, approved by the airline and Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), applied to elected officials and appointees in government "directly connected with aviation."
Kahele sits on the aviation panel of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the committee that oversees the airline industry. Hawaiian Airlines lobbies Congress, and Kahele is directly involved in considering legislation that his employer is looking to influence, Punchbowl News pointed out.
HAWAII DEMOCRAT HASN'T BEEN TO DC IN MONTHS, STILL WORKING AS AIRLINE PILOT
Meanwhile, Hawaiian Airlines' political action committee has donated thousands of dollars to Kahele’s campaign. It also has business before another committee Kahele sits on — the Armed Services Committee. The ALPA also donated thousands of dollars to Kahele's campaign.
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