So, Like Why Couldn't You Do This During The Healthcare Vote? One Sixth Of House Fails To Show Up For Votes
December 21st, 2010
More than 70 House members didn't bother showing up to vote Tuesday, even as the lower chamber wraps up its final priorities of the lame-duck session -- including a bill on funding the federal government through March and a measure on health benefits for 9/11 first responders.
The number of members missing in action amounts to more than one-sixth of the lower chamber and includes many who are retiring or who were defeated in last month's midterms.
The House held seven votes as of late Tuesday, including one on a bill that would avert a government shutdown.
More than 80 members were missing for votes held early Tuesday afternoon. Seventy-three were not present to vote on a food safety bill Tuesday afternoon. (One member, Rep. Steve Kagen (D-Wis.), attempted to vote on the food safety bill but his vote was not recorded due to an error, according to a spokesperson; Kagen later recorded his intent with the Clerk of the House.)
Seventy-five were missing for the vote on continued funding for the federal government.
Twelve members who were defeated either in their primaries or on Election Day did not show up on Tuesday for the food safety vote. The nine defeated Democrats missing in action were Reps. John Adler (N.J.), Brian Baird (Wash.), Bobby Bright (Ala.), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.), Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (Mich.), Mary Jo Kilroy (Ohio), Michael McMahon (N.Y.), Harry Mitchell (Ariz.) and Solomon Ortiz (Texas). The three Republicans were Joseph Cao (La.), Parker Griffith (Ala.) and Bob Inglis (S.C.).
Also among the no-shows Tuesday were 15 retiring members, including Reps. Gresham Barrett (R-S.C.), Marion Berry (D-Ark.), Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.), Steve Buyer (R-Ind.), Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Mary Fallin (R-Okla.), Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), Charlie Melancon (D-La.), Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), John Linder (R-Ga.), George Radanovich (R-Calif.) and John Tanner (D-Tenn.).
Forty-six other members were not present, including 24 Democrats and 22 Republicans.
Over in the Senate, where debate on the START Treaty was still underway Tuesday night, only five members were missing: Sens. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.).
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