Bachmann Breaks Streak of 88 Consecutive Missed Votes

Rep. Michele Bachmann, one of two members of the House of Representatives vying for the GOP presidential nomination, snapped her streak of consecutive votes missed at 88, ending a run that dated back to Aug. 1.

Bachmann, R-Minn., had missed many of the votes while campaigning for president and participating in presidential debates over the past eight weeks.

Today, she voted six times, including casting votes in favor of three free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

“The free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, negotiated more than four years ago, received a long-awaited stamp of approval today by Congress. These agreements will create hundreds of thousands of American jobs and spur economic growth across a wide span of industries, without cost to taxpayers,” Bachmann wrote in a statement following the votes. “My long-standing support of the free trade agreements was reinforced when I met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Colombia in February, and again when I discussed trade in my office with South Korean Ambassador Han Duk-soo in June. Both the countries of Colombia and South Korea are eager for the implementation of these free trade agreements.”

Earlier this week, Bachmann attributed her absence to campaigning in New Hampshire, where she hadn’t focused much of her campaign’s attention, to her responsibilities as a representative in Congress – even though she had not voted since Aug. 1, when she opposed the Budget Control Act to increase the debt limit.

“You didn’t see me a lot here in New Hampshire and I’ll tell you why: It’s because my first duty was to go back to Washington, D.C.,” Bachmann said.

But while Bachmann returned to Washington for the president’s jobs address to a joint session of Congress in early September, she did not vote that day.

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who is also seeking the GOP nomination and has missed a number of votes since the August recess, skipped today’s votes as well, although he returned to Washington last month to vote for three days.

On the other hand, Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., has not missed a vote during his tenure in the House dating back to Jan. 4, 2007. Altmire’s impressive streak is now beyond 4,300 straight votes.