Kissane was first elected to Dáil Éireann as TD for Kerry at the 1932 general election which began sixteen years of unbroken rule for Éamon de Valera's Fianna Fáil. In the last months of the 10th Dáil, Kissane got his first promotion, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Lands, from February to June 1943. After Fianna Fáil's victory in the 1944 general election, Kissane was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach (the government chief whip) and as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence. He served in that position until when Fianna Fáil was defeated at the 1948 general election, when the First Inter-Party Government took office.
Fianna Fáil won the 1951 general election, but Kissane lost his own Dáil seat in Kerry North. He stood again in Kerry North at the 1954 general election, but was not successful.
After his defeat in 1951, Kissane was nominated by the Taoiseach to the 7th Seanad, and in 1954 he was elected by the Cultural and Educational Panel to the 8th Seanad. The panel returned him to the next two Seanads, but he did not contest the 1965 election to the 11th Seanad, and retired from politics.