Barletta Among Lawmakers Missing House Votes
Pennsylvania Congressman Lou Barletta’s voting record in his final days on Capitol Hill is reflecting his short-timer status.
The Hazleton Republican — who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate instead of seeking another term in the U.S. House of Representatives — had missed all but six of the 32 roll-call votes between the November election and Wednesday evening.
That makes him one of the lawmakers with the most absences, but far from the only one who hasn’t been showing up to work as the session winds down.
A tally by the D.C.-based media outlet Roll Call found 17 House members had missed at least half the votes between Nov. 13 and Dec. 13.
Barletta ranked seventh on that bipartisan list, largely composed of lawmakers who won’t be returning to their current job because of retirement or winning election to another office.
Barletta’s staff said the congressman has been working in the district while assisting his family as his young grandson battles cancer.
“Over the last few weeks, Congressman Barletta has met with constituents, held events back in his district, and worked to ensure a smooth transition between his office and that of the incoming representative, all while attending to his 20-month-old grandson who was recently diagnosed with cancer and supporting his family through this tough time,” his spokeswoman said in a statement.
Barletta hasn’t yet announced what he’ll be doing after the session ends.
While Barletta missed the first two votes Thursday, he was present for a long series of afternoon votes as Congress struggled to complete its work for the year.
The number of House absences has grown as the session days dwindled and negotiations over whether a bill keeping the government running would include money for President Donald Trump’s border wall proposal.
Some 70 members were absent from Wednesday evening’s votes, including two other Pennsylvanians who soon will be departing their posts, Democratic Rep. Bob Brady of Philadelphia and Republican Rep. Bill Shuster of Blair County. Democratic Reps. Susan Wild of Allentown and Brendan Boyle of Philadelphia were absent due to family commitments.