Wednesday, 17 February 2021 10:38

North Carolina’s members of Congress absent more often than peers

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RALEIGH — Twelve of 15 members of Congress from North Carolina missed more votes in 2020 than the median absences of their peers. In addition, both Tar Heel state U.S. senators outpaced most other senators for missed votes, a government watchdog reports.


GovTrack examines various congressional statistics for its annual report cards for Congress. That includes how often federal lawmakers show up to work, and North Carolina representatives didn’t fare well in that category. Historically, the median percentage of missed votes for members of the House is 2.3%, GovTrack reports. All but three North Carolina representatives outpaced that percentage in 2020, with Republican George Holding, formerly of the 2nd District, topping the state list at 14.5%. He was 20th overall for all members of the House.

The next highest four, all Republicans, were Mark Walker, formerly of the 6th District, 13.4%; Dan Bishop, 9th District, 9.7%; Patrick McHenry, 10th District, 8.5%; and Richard Hudson, 8th District, 7.8%.

Democrat David Price, 4th District, missed just 0.7% of votes last year, making him one of the House members with the highest record of attendance.

In the Senate, outgoing Republican Richard Burr missed 12.4% of votes in 2020 — ranking 11th — while Thom Tillis, also a Republican, missed 5.3% of votes (ranking 23rd). The median missed vote percentage for U.S. senators historically is just 1.4%.

Lifetime numbers for North Carolina representatives look better compared to 2020. Holding missed 4.1% of votes during his tenure from 2013 to 2020, while Walker missed 5.6% of votes between 2015 and 2020. Both percentages still well outpace the median, however.

GovTrack’s numbers show it’s not uncommon for those members of Congress not seeking re-election to miss more than the median number of votes. Both Holding and Walker declined to run again in 2020, with Walker expressing interest in running for Burr’s seat next year.

Josh Tauberer, creator of GovTrack, previously told Watchdog that members of Congress also tend to miss more votes in an election year due to campaigning. Those running for president frequently see their voting records fall off a cliff.