Three House Republicans and three House Democrats did not participate Thursday in the passage vote for a six-month spending bill to close out the fiscal year — two of them because they just didn’t make it to the floor.
Texas GOP Reps. Michael McCaul and Louie Gohmert were both on Capitol Hill but missed the vote. McCaul said the voting bells did not sound in the briefing room where he was preparing for an upcoming subcommittee hearing, while Gohmert was with constituents.
McCaul said in a statement that he would have voted in favor of the spending bill, and he registered his intent with the Clerk of the House.
“I take my service to my constituents seriously,” he said, noting his 99 percent attendance record so far in the 112th Congress and his 97.6 percent record for the 111th Congress.
Gohmert said he didn’t make it in time to cast his “no” vote because he was visiting with constituents.
“Mr. Speaker, I announce that I was detained,” the Texas Republican said on the floor minutes after the vote was closed. “I got here right at the close of the vote.
“I missed voting ‘no,’ because I believed the vote did not live up to our promise,” he added. “Wanted that in the record.”
The other four lawmakers were absent for family and medical reasons.
Rep. Dave Reichert was spending the week with his ill mother, Marlys Klontz. She died Thursday morning following an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer, according to a statement released by the Washington Republican’s office after the vote. Reichert will resume his schedule after memorial and funeral services are held, his office said.
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) missed the vote because a family member had emergency surgery, according to his spokeswoman, Sondra Boddie. Rep. John Olver (D-Mass.) was also “tending to a family medical matter,” according to his spokeswoman, Liz Murphy.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who is recovering in a Texas rehabilitation facility after being shot in January, also did not vote.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.