Inhofe Is Only Senator to Skip Votes

Posted December 22, 2009 at 9:06am

Updated: 10:27 a.m.Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on Tuesday morning skipped a series of three votes on health care reform legislation, declining to weigh in on the procedural votes related to the Democrats’ $871 billion health care package.Inhofe’s votes would not have made a difference in the outcome. The 60-seat strong Democratic Conference voted unanimously to end a Republican filibuster on a substitute amendment to the health care bill and also voted as a unified block in favor of final passage of the manager’s amendment to the legislation.Inhofe’s 39 Republican colleagues voted unanimously to continue the filibuster of the substitute amendment and against final passage of the manager’s amendment. The manager’s amendment includes the various changes to the health care bill and compromise deals that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made to garner the full support of his Conference.Inhofe was the only Senator to take a pass on Tuesday morning’s votes, which began at 7:20. Inhofe’s office said the Senator was absent to fly his wife home to Oklahoma in advance of the Christmas holiday but that he is headed back to Washington, D.C., for this week’s remaining votes. Inhofe entered a lengthy statement into the Congressional Record regarding his absence from Tuesday’s votes.