Politics

Here Are the House Members Who Have Skipped Votes This Lame-Duck Session

Most of the absentees are members who lost re-election, ran for another office or are retiring

The lame-duck session of Congress has seen its fair share of absenteeism in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

More than 40 percent of House members have missed at least one vote this lame-duck session, leading to attendance problems that have prohibited the outgoing Republican majority from advancing legislation that Democrats don’t want to help them pass — and a smaller subset have missed at least half of all lame-duck votes.

There have been only 20 House roll call votes since the lame-duck session started on Nov. 13, but 17 members have missed at least half of them. Of those 17 repeat offenders, 11 are Republicans and six are Democrats.

Four of the top six absentees are members who won election to statewide office and are likely busy at home prepping for their new roles.

Here is the list of of those who have not been showing up for work the most — with the cutoff point being those who have missed at least half of the votes — ranked in order of most votes missed:

  1. Walter Jones, R-N.C., who won his re-election bid but is planning to retire after this next term, missed all 20.
  2. Tim Walz, D-Minn., who ran for governor and won, missed 19.
  3. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who ran for attorney general and won, missed 19.
  4. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., who ran for governor and won, missed 18.
  5. Steve Knight, R-Calif., who lost his re-election bid, missed 17.
  6. Jared Polis, D-Colo., who ran for governor and won, missed 17.
  7. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., who ran for Senate and lost in the general, missed 14.
  8. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., who won his re-election bid, missed 14.
  9. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., who is retiring, missed 14.
  10. William Keating, D-Mass., who won his re-election but recently had surgery to correct a macular hole in his eye, missed 13.
  11. Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla., who won his re-election bid, missed 12.
  12. Diane Black, R-Tenn., who ran for governor and lost in the primary, missed 11. 
  13. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., who is retiring, missed 11.
  14. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., who is retiring, missed 11.
  15. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who ran for Senate and won, missed 10.
  16. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who is retiring, missed 10.
  17. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., who lost his re-election bid, missed 10.

The lawmaker at the top of the list, Jones of North Carolina, has been excused by the House from voting for the rest of the year due to illness, according to a unanimous consent request from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Barletta has been back home in his district helping to attend to a family health issue, according to a spokeswoman. “Over the last few weeks, Congressman Barletta has met with constituents, held events back in his district, and worked to ensure a smooth transition between his office and that of the incoming Representative, all while attending to his 20-month-old grandson who was recently diagnosed with cancer and supporting his family through this tough time,” the spokeswoman said. 

The one vote that Minnesota Democrats Walz and Ellison participated in was on legislation to remove the gray wolf found in the contiguous 48 states from the endangered species list. They both voted “no.”

The list is likely to grow, with the House back in session Wednesday evening, and votes likely to come the rest of the week. 

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.

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