Sen. Joe Manchin too Busy With Holiday Parties to Show Up for Work
December 19, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—Newly elected Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is only slightly more useful to his Democratic colleagues than his former Republican opponent tea party millionaire John Raese, who proposed doing away with the federal minimum wage and safety regulations for miners. Since Manchin took office, he has made a point of voting with Republicans. Which is no surprise really, since he spent his senatorial campaign trashing President Obama and his policies. But his recent behavior is more bizarre than literally shooting a copy of the Cap and Trade bill with a hunting rifle. During a weekend session with the history-making DADT repeal vote (it passed with no help from Manchin), the DREAM Act and debate on the START treaty, crucial to our national security, Manchin was a no show. Why? Because he had family holiday parties to attend. Don’t we all, Manchin, don’t we all.
Earlier in the month, when the measure to repeal DADT was attached to the defense Authorization bill, Manchin was the only Democratic Senator to join Republicans to filibuster the bill. Mind you, he didn’t actually vote against the merits of the measure, he prevented his own Party from taking the bill to the floor for an up-or-down vote.
Now, he most likely would not have made any difference if he had decided to show up for work this weekend. Before the votes, Manchin released statements, saying he opposed both repealing DADT and the DREAM Act. Still, he apparently was too cowardly to put his no votes on record.
“Spokeswoman Sara Payne Scarbro said in an e-mail that Manchin and Gayle had “planned a holiday gathering over a year ago with all their children and grandchildren as they will not all be together on Christmas Day.”’
‘“While he regrets missing the votes, it was a family obligation that he just could not break,” Payne Scarbro said. “However, he has been clear on where he stands on the issues.”’
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), facing surgery for prostate cancer on Monday, managed to show up for the crucial votes on Saturday.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee issued a statement slamming Manchin for his absence.
“I’m sure that most senators, as well as the hundreds of staffers who had to come to work today, would have rather been at a Christmas party like Joe Manchin,” NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh said in a statement. “For a senator who has only been on the job a few weeks, Manchin’s absence today, and the apparent lack of seriousness with which he takes the job he was elected to do, speaks volumes.”
Despite Manchin’s efforts to ingratiate himself with Republicans, even they are not impressed.