American Culture

There Hasn’t Been a Full Senate Vote in Seven Months

The Grind:

The Senate has had attendance problems in the last seven months, with at least one senator missing from the roll call in every vote since August 2022.

The 51-49 Democratic-held Senate has been reduced to a 49-48 Senate thanks to absences by both parties, with that number fluctuating from day to day, causing roadblocks in the upper chamber of Congress.

The Details:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sens. John Fetterman (D-PA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have no timetable for when they plan to return to the Senate. McConnell, 81, is recovering from a concussion suffered during a fall. Fetterman, 53, is receiving treatment for depression, and Feinstein, 89, is receiving treatment for shingles.

McConnell’s absence has required Sen. John Thune (R-SD) to run the GOP conference with assistance from McConnell’s aides, while Sen. Bob Casey’s (D-PA) staff has had to fulfill constituent requests and work on legislation for Fetterman, per Politico.

The long-term absences have led to some senators feeling less obligated to show up to some hearings and votes, as there is no critical legislation being debated. Read more…

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