As the lower chamber of Congress wraps up for the year’s final session, over 70 members were AWOL, and didn’t bother to show up to vote. Included on the agenda was a bill on funding the federal government through March and a measure on health benefits for 911 responders.
Many of the politicians that didn’t show up to vote included members that were defeated in November’s elections and those that were retiring. The House voted on seven items, including a short-term spending bill, which was passed, that would avert a government shutdown. Had the House not acted, the government would have theoretically run out of funding on 12:01 am Wednesday.
Those absent also missed voting on a major food safety bill on Tuesday afternoon. That bill also passed.
Members who were defeated in the November elections or in primaries that didn’t show were: Reps. John Adler (D-N.J.), Bobby Bright (D-Ala.), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.), Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Mich.), Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio), Michael McMahon (D-N.Y.), Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.), Solomon Ortiz (D-Texas), Joseph Cao (R-La.), Parker Griffith (R-Ala.) and Bob Inglis (R-S.C.).
Sixteen retiring members that didn’t show included: Reps. Brian Baird (D-Wash.), 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 returning lawmakers didn’t show, including 24 Democrats and 22 Republicans. Whether they were Christmas shopping or off to Aspen is unknown.