Concord - The New Hampshire Republican State Committee today called on Senator Jeanne Shaheen to explain her absence from last night's critical Senate "nuclear option" summit. The Hill (7/15/13) reports that 97 of 100 U.S. Senators returned to Washington in time for a mandatory "live' quorum vote and to participate in a rare bipartisan, joint caucus meeting on making dramatic changes to the filibuster rules for approving presidential appointees. According to the National Journal, (7/15/13) "live" quorum votes are mandatory and Senators can be arrested and brought to the Senate floor if they are absent.
"Jeanne Shaheen needs to explain why she missed a mandatory vote and didn't participate in an important meeting about the future of the United States Senate," said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn. "New Hampshire deserves to be represented by both of its U.S. Senators at critical meetings like this, and Jeanne Shaheen must tell her constituents why she was unable to do her job last night,"
According to the Washington Post congressional reporter Ed O'Keefe, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) also missed the vote. Rubio explained that he had a family commitment and Menendez said that he missed the vote but was attending the important filibuster meeting with the rest of the Senate. Shaheen has refused to answer questions about why she missed both the quorum vote and the filibuster meeting.
Senator Shaheen's missed vote is the latest example of a developing trend. In April, Shaheen missed a critical vote on protecting New Hampshire from a disastrous Internet sales tax.