Absentee Rep. Bachmann Admonishes Senate For Absenteeism
Last night on Fox News, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was asked if the House, Senate and the president should "go on vacation" or "stay here and resolve" the payroll tax issue. After attacking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for "throw[ing] a grenade into the House of Representatives and [going] on vacation" and President Obama for "fail[ing] to lead," Bachmann said that she would "call all 535 members back into Washington" in order to make a decision "right now."
BACHMANN: Well, Harry Reid made a very foolish decision. He threw a grenade into the House of Representatives and went on vacation. President Obama said in no uncertain terms to the House Republicans, 'Pass it, my way or the highway.' President Obama has failed to lead. The House Republicans have tried to negotiate. John Boehner was dealt a very difficult hand. What we need to do is — this is the problem with Washington. We have got to be about the people's business. There are members there that want to be about that business, but we need a president who will lead. I'll do that. I would call all 535 members back into Washington and say we're going to make this decision right now.
Bachmann could have had her own chance to "lead" on this issue, but instead of coming back to Washington to voice her displeasure and vote on the bill, as is her job as a sitting representative, she instead spent her time campaigning in Iowa. In fact, according to GovTrack.us, Bachmann has missed a staggering 91.3 percent of roll call votes in the fourth quarter of 2011, which puts her well into the most negligent 10 percent of Congress. GovTrack provides this chart of Bachmann's missed votes to go along with its data:
Even if Bachmann had been present to contribute to the debate on this issue, she probably wouldn't have had much to offer. Bachmann is one of the few members of Congress to maintain that renewing the payroll tax holiday is economically useless, despite consensus that not doing so would hurt the economy.