Politics

Ted Cruz Opts for Campaign Trail Instead of Senate Votes

Texas Republican to miss Monday vote, missed parts of last week as well

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has missed votes lately in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell nixed much of the August recess, it raised the prospect that vulnerable Democrats might miss valuable campaign time, but it appears to also be having an effect on Republicans. Case in point: Sen. Ted Cruz.

The Texas Republican is not expected at the Senate vote that has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Monday to limit debate on the nomination of President Donald Trump’s choice to be assistant secretary for family support at the Health and Human Services Department, Lynn A. Johnson.

The senator is expected to be at campaign events back home well into the evening Monday.

Cruz is facing a challenge from Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Likely Republican.

Cruz was in the Senate chamber for part of last week, but he missed floor votes on both ends. He was among 15 senators to miss votes the evening of Aug. 20, including on a proposal from New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez to support funding for a firefighter cancer registry.

And, despite Cruz being among the Capitol’s leading opponents of abortion, he missed a vote last Thursday on an amendment intended to defund Planned Parenthood.

Thursday, it appears the Texas senator left early. He was on the floor to vote to limit debate on the fiscal 2019 package of Defense and Labor-HHS-Education spending. But mid-afternoon, when senators were voting on the failed amendment from Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky to block funding for groups that provide abortion services (and final passage of the appropriations bill), Cruz was not recorded.

Watch: 3 Ways Trump and the Senate Can Stumble On Crucial Spending Bills Before Labor Day

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