Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison decided to skip Wednesday morning's vote on the $15 billion job-creation bill as she battles against being dubbed a "Washington insider" in the Texas gubernatorial GOP primary.
Thirteen Republicans crossed the aisle to join 57 Democrats in backing the jobs bill, which creates a Social Security tax break for companies hiring new employees and also contains money to replenish the highway trust fund. Hutchison was one of only two senators to miss the vote; the other was Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who was diagnosed with cancer last week.
As of this posting, Hutchison's office had not responded to a request for comment on why she missed the vote and how she would have voted had she been present.
Hutchison is fighting to unseat Gov. Rick Perry in the Texas primary, which is scheduled for March 2. Perry leads in the polls, and has worked to turn the senator's long experience in Congress against her. "I didn't think that anyone could turn my success in producing results for Texas into a negative, but I think that he has attempted to do that and that is what I've been having to fight against," Hutchison said in an interview with the Associated Press.
Through Feb. 4, Hutchison had missed 7.2 percent of all votes cast in the 111th Congress, the sixth-most among current senators, according to a Washington Post database.
Looking at the five senators who have missed more votes than Hutchison, three -- Sens. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) -- have had significant health problems. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) missed several votes when he was weighing whether to become President Obama's Commerce secretary, and Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), who is retiring, missed more than 20 votes in December but declined to give specific explanations why to the Kentucky media.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
When it rains it pours... Kay skips another big vote...
When it rains it pours, and no I am not talking about Northern Illinois, a truly miserable place and nice peeps with truly miserable accents... and overrated food...
I am talking about Kay's campaign. That Rasmussen Poll (link) showing Rick with a 21 point lead over Kay could not have been a great start to the day, but now it turns out she has skipped another vote on an important piece of legislation (link). Excerpt follows...
One of my very biggest pet peeves is members of the United States senate missing votes. They just don't have that many votes to make... so every missed vote is a huge deal. It is symbolic... a tip of the iceberg of the disengagement and lack of involvement that permeates the day to day.
Missing another big vote will probably be somewhat small news, but it will annoy and agitate the peeps who are on the fence and are looking for that one small reason not to support Kay.