The Washington Post

Nearly 30 percent of House skips votes as debt-limit deadline looms

The House was in session Monday – but some lawmakers were quicker to return to Washington than others.

Nearly 3 in 10 House members failed to show up for votes Monday evening despite an announcement by leaders earlier this month that they were canceling the chamber’s previously scheduled week-long recess in light of the ongoing debt-limit negotiations.

Of 432 sitting House members, only 312 – or 72 percent – were present to vote Monday evening on a non-controversial bill regarding church pension plans.

Among the 120 lawmakers not present were 63 Democrats and 57 Republicans. Only one of the three House Republicans who have announced presidential bids showed up: Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) joined most lawmakers in voting “yes” on the measure; Reps. Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.) and Michele Bachmann (Minn.) did not vote.

Both parties’ leadership teams were present Monday night.(House Speaker John Boehner was among them, although in keeping with longstanding custom for speakers, he did not cast a vote.)

The Senate, meanwhile, had a better turnout: 93 of the chamber’s 100 members were present to vote on the nomination of Paul Oetken to serve as U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York. Oetken was confirmed on an 80-to-13 vote.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced earlier Monday that the chamber would remain in session, even on the weekends, until a debt-limit deal is reached.


The Tea Party goes to Washington

House Democrats: Budget amendment is ‘anti-democratic’

The Fix: Why Republicans don’t fear default


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