The Absent Senator: Brownback MIA on Immigration Votes

As the Senate was voting on important amendments to the immigration bill yesterday, long-shot presidential candidate Sam Brownback was off on the campaign trail taking a “whirlwind tour of Iowa.” Brownback’s absence meant he could avoid a vote on stripping the bill of its amnesty section — the most contentious aspect of the legislation.

Brownback’s vote could have also made a difference for a measure that failed, 48-49. The amendment would have sunset the Y-1 non-immigrant visa program after a five-year period. Brownback’s support for the measure would have at least forced Vice President Cheney to cast a tie-breaking vote.

Instead of showing up for work, according to a press release, “Brownback and [Christian leader David] Barton spoke with over 750 Christian leaders at events in Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Des Moines, Ames, Davenport, and Cedar Rapids in the span of twenty-four hours.”

This isn’t the first time Brownback’s missed votes have hurt him. Currently, he and Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) are leading the pack among presidential candidates who have skipped work to campaign.

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