On Campaign Trail, Rubio Truant in the Senate

On Campaign Trail, Rubio Truant in the Senate

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
By Martin Matishak

Last week Sen. Marco Rubio warned it’s “important to be qualified, but if this election is a resume competition, then Hillary Clinton's gonna be the next president” because of her long history in office and in federal government.

For his sake, he’d better hope the GOP primary doesn’t turn into a disqualifying truancy competition, too.

A study by The Tampa Bay Times found that of the four Republican senators running for the White House, Rubio has missed the most Senate votes.

In June alone, Rubio missed 67 percent of the Senate votes, and he wasn’t there for more than half of them in July, according to The Times.

Related: The New York Times Just Made Rubio the Hero of the Struggling Middle Class

In all, the first-term lawmaker missed 29 percent of Senate votes, or 76 of 262 recorded, in the first six months of 2015. Over 50 of those came after his April 13 campaign announcement.

The numbers show how much time Rubio has had to spend off Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail as he looks to break out of a crowded GOP field that includes his friend and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

By contrast, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has missed 54 votes since declaring his candidacy in March, while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was truant for 35 votes since he launched his presidential bid on June 1.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has skipped only three votes throughout 2015 and only one since declaring for president.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has missed four votes since hitting the campaign trail.

Rubio has missed nearly 11 percent of votes since he joined the Senate in January 2011, The Times analysis shows, well above the median 1.6 percent rate for the lifetimes of current senators.

A Rubio spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

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Number of the Day: 18 Million

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There were 18 million military veterans in the United States in 2018, according to the Census Bureau. That figure includes 485,000 World War II vets, 1.3 million who served in the Korean War, 6.4 million from the Vietnam War era, 3.8 million from the first Gulf War and another 3.8 million since 9/11. We join with the rest of the country today in thanking them for their service.

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Quote of the Day: The Health Care Revolution That Wasn’t

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The House Ways and Means Committee released a new analysis of drug prices in the U.S. compared to 11 other developed nations, and the results, though predictable, aren’t pretty. Here are the key findings from the report:

  • The U.S. pays the most for drugs, though prices varied widely.
  • U.S. drug prices were nearly four times higher than average prices compared to similar countries.
  • U.S. consumers pay significantly more for drugs than other countries, even when accounting for rebates.
  • The U.S. could save $49 billion annually on Medicare Part D alone by using average drug prices for comparator countries.

Read the full congressional report here.