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.