Politics

Rep. Mia Love MIA in Lame Duck Session

Minnesota’s Rep. Tim Walz tops list of absentee outgoing members

Outgoing Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, was criticized by a Utah good government group for missing most of the lame duck session since her loss to Rep.-elect Ben McAdams. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah Rep. Mia Love has missed more votes in the lame duck session than any of the nearly three dozen other lawmakers who lost their reelection races in November, according to a recent analysis.

The 4th District Republican was absent from a cluster of votes the week before Christmas as the federal government hurtled toward a partial shutdown. Altogether Love missed nearly 84 percent of votes since suffering her midterm loss, the most of any ousted member of Congress, according to an analysis by KUTV.

A spokesman for Love told the Salt Lake City TV station that the congresswoman “has sacrificed a lot of time away from her family since she took office. She has been honored to have dedicated 4 years diligently serving Utah but has unfortunately been home with a sick child recently.”

The founder of a progressive watchdog group in Utah pointed out that while Love continues to draw a paycheck, some of her constituents who are federal workers are not.

“Her constituents in CD4 (congressional district 4) who work for the federal government should be probably the most disappointed of all that they don’t have a voice up on Capitol Hill in Washington, day six of a shutdown, over the holiday season,” Josh Kanter, founder of progressive watchdog nonprofit Alliance for a Better Utah, told KUTV. “They’re not getting a paycheck. She is, and why isn’t she there fighting for these people?”

Love chastised President Donald Trump in her concession speech nearly three weeks after election day for prioritizing his own ego instead of helping vulnerable Republicans keep their seats in the midterms.

Trump had singled out Love and other losing Republican incumbents for rejecting him during their campaigns, blaming that for their losses.

 

Of all of the absentee outgoing members, Minnesota Democratic Rep. Timothy Walz, who was present for only two votes since Sept. 27, might top the list.

Walz will vacate his seat in the House and move into the governor’s residence in St. Paul next week. He has cast just one vote since his November election to Minnesota’s highest office — “nay” on legislation to delist gray wolves as an endangered species on Nov. 14.

An earlier Roll Call analysis found that more than 40 percent of House members missed at least one vote this lame-duck session.

Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina has missed every vote in the lame duck session since being excused by the House for the rest of the year due to illness, according to a unanimous consent request from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.What Really Happens During a Government Shutdown, Explained

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