Yesterday, the auto company bailout bill passed the House by a margin of 237 to 170. One member voted "present" and 26 members didn't bother to vote. After checking the roll call vote, I noticed that more than half of 26 non-voting members were those who either lost their re-election bid, opted not to run, or left their job for a new one, in the case of Rahm Emanuel.
It's one thing when members miss votes due to time spent campaigning for re-election, or for another office. We don't like it, but most of us understand that it's hard to be on the campaign trail and in Washington at the same time, and those missed votes are, at least, somewhat germane to their job. I hate to give them a pass on this behavior, but at least there is an understandable excuse.
What is an outrage is when members simply stop showing-up for work after losing an election or announcing their retirement, yet happily continue to accept their $169,300 annual salary, nonetheless. That is simply an insult to the taxpayers, especially as Congress had to convene in lameduck session to deal with legislation to save the domestic auto industry. Yet, 14 of the 26 non-voting members are lameducks who seem less interested in saving anything except their fat paychecks.
Here are the 26 who didn't vote yesterday:
- Cubin (did not run for re-election)
- Doolittle (did not run for re-election)
- Emanuel (left to become White House COS)
- Everett (did not run for re-election)
- Gilchrest (lost GOP primary)
- Hastings (FL)
- Hooley (did not run for re-election)
- Johnson, E. B.
- Keller (lost re-election bid)
- Kuhl (NY) (lost re-election bid)
- Miller, Gary
- Peterson (PA) (did not run for re-election)
- Pryce (OH) (lost re-election bid)
- Renzi (did not run for re-election)
- Tancredo (did not run for re-election)
- Walberg (lost re-election bid)
- Weldon (FL) (did not run for re-election)
Isn't it long past time that we demand that lameduck members, who refuse to show-up for votes, lose their six-figure salary?
Mark Nickolas is the Managing Editor of Political Base, and this story was from his original post, "Time To Stop Paying Lameduck Members of Congress If They Stop Showing-Up For Work"