In a Sept. 24, 2011 photo, Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., is seen during the Republican Leadership Conference at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Mich. Amash is being challenged by Democrat Steve Pestka. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Amash Misses His First House Vote – The Streak Is Broken, And The Congressman Is Heartbroken

It’s bittersweet anytime a chain of longevity is broken, whether it be something like a hitting streak in baseball or one of those little old couples who remain married for decades. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) had one of those impressive runs, not missing a single vote since he first came to Congress in 2011. Six years of unbroken, unmissed votes – 4,289 in all – is astounding.

But that streak ended Friday, as Amash missed a roll-call vote while speaking with reporters about his opposition to the GOP’s alternative to Obamacare.

Amash was speaking with reporters about the replacement bill in the speakers lobby when he suddenly asked what vote they were on. One reporter told him she believed it was the second amendment in the vote series.

Amash immediately sprinted into the chamber and tried to put his card in the voting slot to cast his yea or nay, but the vote had closed.

Amash approached floor staff and leadership to see if they could either re-open the vote or call it again. Staff said there was no precedent for doing so.

The congressman has cultivated a reputation for being present for every vote during his time in Washington, and he explains his every decision on his Facebook page. So needless to say, his voting streak was important to him. When he found out he had missed the vote and did not have a second chance, he hung his head low and broke down in tears.

So, who holds the record now? The current streak now belongs to Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR), who was sworn in the same time as Amash in 2011. Womack’s response:

“I have been sent to Washington by Third District Arkansans to make sure their voices are heard; voting is fundamental to that duty,” Womack said in a statement released just moments after the episode. “I am humbled by the opportunity to serve my constituents and thank God that no personal hardships have kept me from representing them on a single vote since taking office.”

Shake it off, Justin, and keep up the good fight. It’s time to start a new streak.

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Chris Queen

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