No Show Joe

Last evening while reading a congressional newsletter about the day’s action I noted where newly elected Senator Joe Manchin was absent.  I thought he must be seriously ill as Senators are never absent.  There have been times when they arrived on stretcher to vote.

This morning to my amazement the Sunday Gazette-Mail reported Senator Manchin was in Pittsburgh attending a long planned family Christmas party.  His commitment to family cannot be faulted.  But likewise he made a commitment to represent West Virginians when he took office as a United States Senator. 

I recalled Senator Robert Byrd cast more than 16,000 votes with an attendance record over five decades – 97 percent – was as impressive as the number of votes he cast.

There is an unwritten rule for Members of Congress that being don’t miss a vote.  When I first went there to work my Chief of Staff colleagues told me never let your Member miss a vote.  Often constituents may not understand the complexities of a vote but they sure understand when you’re not there.

Only 48 days has passed since Senator Manchin went to Washington.


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