By Brandon Conradis, Eryn Dion and Josh Fatzick - 03/06/12 01:19 AM EST
ITK loves to rib members (see Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. item below), but we also give them props — when warranted.
So today, ITK is saluting the legislators who have had perfect voting attendance in 2011 and 2012. Of course, this list doesn’t mean these members are the best in Congress, but heck, at least they show up day after day.
• Ben Cardin (D-Md.)
• Susan Collins (R-Maine)
• Al Franken (D-Minn.)
• Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
• Mike Johanns (R-Neb.)
• Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)
• Carl Levin (D-Mich.)
• Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
• Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
Members of the House
• Sandy Adams (R-Fla.)
• Jason Altmire (D-Pa.)
• Justin Amash (R-Mich.)
• Steve Chabot (R-Ohio)
• Mike Conaway (R-Texas)
• Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.)
• John Kline (R-Minn.)
• Sandy Levin (D-Mich.)
• Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.)
• Fred Upton (R-Mich.)
• Steve Womack (R-Ark.)
Honorable mentions: Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), who has made every floor vote since winning her special election in May of 2011; Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) made every vote in 2011, though his perfect record was blemished last week.
Cardin told ITK there have been some close calls where leaders have accommodated his requests to keep a vote open.
Asked whether he will be perfect the rest of the year, Cardin responded, “You never know,” adding that needs in his state and/or family have to be considered.
Altmire’s office said the Pennsylvania Democrat has not missed a vote since being sworn in to office in 2007, a total of 4,551 votes.
Altmire and Amash have a bit of a rivalry on the issue, according to Amash spokesman Will Adams.
“Jason Altmire recently let the clock run down without voting to see how Justin would react. Justin actually got nervous for him and started to search around for him in a panic. Rep. Altmire showed up to vote right before the board closed with a grin on his face. There’s a friendly rivalry, but obviously Rep. Altmire has the longer streak right now,” Adams said.
Upton takes his voting attendance very seriously. He has had various streaks during his 13 terms on Capitol Hill and winces at the memories of the few he has missed. His initial streak was broken as he was stuck on a runway due to dense fog.
LoBiondo, meanwhile, has only missed 26 votes since 1995, according to the lawmaker’s spokesman.
But none of them compares to Grassley, who last missed a roll call vote in July 1993, when he accompanied then-President Clinton to Iowa to inspect flood damage. Before that, he missed a vote in 1989 because of a death in his family.
In a statement, Grassley told ITK, “People are cynical about government and wonder if you’re really on the job. When the Senate’s in session, I’m in Washington voting, and when the Senate is out of session, I’m in Iowa holding meetings with constituents.”