The Missing Senator

Dec 23, 2009 4:20pm

ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports: Over the weekend, Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn said “the American people ought to pray that somebody can’t make the vote” on health care.  Well, it seems Coburn’s prayers may have been answered, although not in the way he had in mind. Since yesterday, there has been a single senator missing every vote the health care bill: James Inhofe, Coburn’s fellow Oklahoma Republican. Calls and emails to Inhofe’s press office have not been returned, but it appears that Inhofe has left town for the holiday. Sources say Inhofe has told his colleagues simply that he went home “to be with his family.”  It’s safe to say, however, that this is not what Coburn had in mind. He was hoping for a Democrat not to show up. “His clear intent was to see the bill delayed so the American people would have more to understand a bill that rations, cuts Medicare and funds abortion,” says Coburn spokesman John Hart. Inhofe’s absence affects nothing except, perhaps, his relationship with his 99 colleagues who have all delayed their holiday and cancelled plans to be with their families to vote on the bill.  Says one Republican Senate source, “people are disappointed, very disappointed because it reflects badly on the opposition.”

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