Not a single senator was present on the chamber floor when Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) began the 150th annual reading of President George Washington's farewell address on Monday afternoon.

Only Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who was sitting on the dais performing his duty of acting Senate Pro Tempore, about 20 Senate pages, and a few dozen visitors were around to hear the speech, which began at 2:15 p.m. and usually runs about 45 minutes.