Dem: GOP attendance at protest 'saddest thing I've seen here'

A freshman Democrat on Thursday said that Republican lawmakers' attendance at the "House Call" protest was "the saddest thing I've seen here."

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) chided GOPers from skipping out on official House business, including the swearing in ceremony for a special election winner. He made his comment on Twitter:

W/few courageous exceptions, GOP caucus walks out en masse as 2 new members (dems from specials) are sworn in. Saddest thing I've seen here.

Former Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) was sworn in this afternoon on the House floor. Garamendi replaced former Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) who took a position at the State Department. The other special election winner, Bill Owens (D-N.Y.) will actually be sworn in tomorrow.

Meanwhile Health Caucus, a House Republican group, criticized Democrats for holding official business during the rally:

As an FYI House Dems intentionally called a vote during #housecall. They only want to work when they're afraid.