Tags: GOP2016 | Marco Rubio | Rand Paul | Ted Cruz | marco rubio | senate | votes

Marco Rubio Leads GOP Hopefuls in Skipping Senate Votes

Marco Rubio Leads GOP Hopefuls in Skipping Senate Votes
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By    |   Monday, 27 July 2015 07:32 AM

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has been absent from the Senate more than any other senators mounting a presidential bid.

According to Politico, Rubio has missed more than a third of votes on the Senate floor, or 42 in total, voting 64 percent of the time since he announced his bid April 13. By comparison, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has missed just two votes, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz voted 72 percent of the time and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham voted 68 percent.

By one analysis, Rubio has the poorest attendance rate among senators who have declared their bid for the presidency.

"It's not unusual for presidential candidates to miss Senate votes," Rubio spokesman Alex Conant told Politico. "Sen. Rubio remains fully engaged in the issues important to Florida and helping Floridians, and as he travels the country to talk about his agenda to help the middle class, there will be no doubt where he stands on any important issues before the Senate."

Nevertheless, Rubio has missed roll calls on a number of high profile issues ranging from national security to trade, energy and education policy. He has also missed private hearings during the Iran talks, a public forum on China, and a private briefing on the U.S. strategy on the Islamic State, Politico reported.

"As a member of both the Senate Intel and Foreign Relations committees, Sen. Rubio has received regular classified briefings, attends most Intel committee hearings, and reads intelligence reports almost on a daily basis, and in the unusual case that he misses a hearing, he is always briefed on the material covered," Conant told Politico.

Rubio has not missed any votes that would have swayed the outcome. And Conant said that he played catch-up whenever he missed briefings, talking extensively to experts and staff that would fill him in on what he missed.

Cruz and Paul have taken a different approach by trying to raise their statures in the Senate. Cruz mounted a campaign against the Export-Import Bank and Obamacare on the Senate floor, while Paul fought the Patriot Act, achieving a temporary expiration.

Rubio, however, had not delivered a floor speech since May 7, Politico said.

"I get paid to do this, and I think it's an obligation for me to be here," Paul said, according to Politico. Asked about Rubio's absences, Paul said, "I think that's between him and the voters of Florida."

Previous senators who were running for president also had a record of skipping votes: Sens. John McCain voted just 44 percent of the time, Hillary Clinton made 77 percent of votes, and Barack Obama made it 66 percent, Politico reported.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush took his own jab at absentee senators.

"The pay people get in public life is good," Bush told a radio host last week, according to Politico. "It's a sacrifice to be away from their families, I'd admit that, but if you're there for three days, you ought to be able to show up and vote, or resign … and then go pursue whatever your desires are."

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has been absent from the Senate more than any other senators mounting a presidential bid, Politico reports.
marco rubio, senate, votes, absentee, rand paul, ted cruz
Monday, 27 July 2015 07:32 AM
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