Cruz on Loretta Lynch: Absence is a no vote
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzQuinnipiac poll finds Biden, Trump tied in Texas China could cut our access to critical minerals at any time — here's why we need to act The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Two weeks out, Trump attempts to rally the base MORE (R-Texas) said Thursday that his absence during last week’s confirmation of Attorney General Loretta Lynch was the same as voting against her.

“There was no significance to the final vote, and I had a scheduling conflict,” Cruz said, according to media reports.

“Under the Senate rules, absence is the equivalent of a no vote,” the 2016 GOP presidential candidate added. “It is identical procedurally.”

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Senators confirmed Lynch as the nation’s new attorney general on April 23 in a 56-43 vote. Cruz, a notable opponent of her nomination, said Thursday he abstained because a majority of Republicans had backed her selection for the position.

“I flew back to Washington to speak on the Senate floor, passionately speaking against confirming Loretta Lynch,” he said. “But unfortunately, leadership chose to go a different direction."

Lynch’s confirmation ended a standoff over her qualifications lasting over 160 days. Cruz was the only senator absent during the final vote.

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Campaign Report: Obama to hit the campaign trail l Biden's eye-popping cash advantage l New battleground polls favor Biden Quinnipiac poll finds Biden, Trump tied in Texas Biden endorses Texas Democratic House candidate Julie Oliver MORE (R-Texas) subtly rebuked Cruz’s decision in a tweet issued on April 25. In it, he discounted Cruz’s earlier explanation that a cloture vote over Lynch’s candidacy was the only vote that mattered.

“FYI: Cloture ends debate only,” he wrote.

“It does not confirm a nominee,” Cornyn said. “Otherwise a subsequent vote to confirm a nominee is meaningless.”

Cruz’s no-show was the latest in a series of missed Senate votes.

Between January and March, he missed more votes than any other senator besides Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein The Memo: Biden stays slow and steady in face of criticism MORE (D-Nev.), who was recovering from injury, and Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioIntel officials say Iran, Russia seeking to influence election Senate Intel leaders warn of election systems threats Trump remarks put pressure on Barr MORE (R-Fla.), another 2016 GOP contender.

The Texas lawmaker missed 20 of 28 Senate roll call votes in April, according to GovTrack.