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Bachmann: Migraines Manageable, Focused on Job

Updated: 5:52 p.m.

Rep. Michele Bachmann on Tuesday acknowledged that she experiences migraine headaches but insisted the ailment has not affected her job performance.

The Minnesota Republican issued a statement from the presidential campaign trail in South Carolina responding to a report in the Daily Caller suggesting she frequently takes medication to control migraines. The report quoted anonymous former Bachmann staffers, who claimed the Congresswoman had even been hospitalized because of the ailment.

Bachmann said she is “like nearly 30 million other Americans” who control migraines easily with medicine. She said she has maintained a full schedule in her role as a Member of the House and regular travel for her 2012 campaign.

“I have prescription medication that I take whenever symptoms arise and they keep the migraines under control,” Bachmann said. “Let me be abundantly clear — my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as Commander in Chief.”

The Congresswoman said she is “focused on performing my job.”

A study from CQ shows she has missed few votes on Capitol Hill. Bachmann participated in 95 percent of House votes both this year and last year, when Democrats controlled the chamber. In 2009, she participated in 89 percent of House votes. Bachmann had a 98 percent score during her first term in Congress, from 2007 to 2008.

Bachmann ranks below average in House voting participation, but plenty of Members show up in Washington, D.C., less frequently. With the exception of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), still recovering from a January assassination attempt, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) is the Member with the lowest score, participating in just 80 percent of House votes.

Hinchey announced in April he has curable colon cancer. He had surgery in July and underwent treatment.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) has the lowest score among Republicans, 81 percent. Retiring Rep. Ron Paul, a Texas Republican who also is running for president, has only made 84 percent of House votes this year.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has participated in 91 percent of the votes and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has made 93 percent.

Rep. Steve Stivers is the freshman with the lowest participation score at 86 percent. A Stivers aide told Roll Call that the percentage was low because the Ohio Republican participated in his annual two weeks of service with the Ohio Army National Guard in June.

John Cranford of CQ contributed to this report.

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