Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) currently holds the title of most absent U.S. senator, missing over 60 percent of votes this session. In an interview with Walter Isaacson at the Aspen Institute yesterday, McCain claimed he has not “missed any crucial vote” on energy legislation:
McCAIN: I have a long record of that support of alternate energy. … I’ve always been for all of those and I have not missed any crucial vote. But my citizens in Arizona know that when I’m running for the President of the United States I have to be out campaigning.
Watch it (via Progressive Accountability):
McCain’s has actually missed several “crucial” energy votes. In July alone, he missed every single energy vote brought to the floor. This session, McCain has skipped votes supporting renewable energy tax credits four times, all of which were filibustered. In June, for example, McCain missed a vote on the landmark Lieberman-Warner climate change legislation.
McCain has also been the “crucial” absent vote on key legislation. In December, legislation stripping tax break giveaways to Big Oil and investing in cleaner sources failed by one vote, 59-40 (Vote #425); McCain missed that vote to campaign. In February, McCain skipped a vote on extending tax credits to renewables, which also failed by one vote (Vote #8). Both times, McCain was the only senator absent.
“It’s interesting to hear Sen. McCain talk about bringing Congress back” for a vote on offshore drilling, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said this week. “He wasn’t even in Congress when we had two very important bills on energy.”
Tom Friedman: “John McCain has a perfect record on this renewable energy legislation. He has missed all eight votes over the last year — which effectively counts as a no vote each time. Once, he was even in the Senate and wouldn’t leave his office to vote.” (HT: SilentPatriot)