He may be willing to put a bullet in liberal carbon tax legislation but newly elected West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin is taking fire from Republicans for skipping out on two controversial Senate votes on "don't ask don't tell" and youth illegal immigrant amnesty.
While he had issued statements saying that he opposed both liberal-backed bills, Manchin failed to show up to vote against them, choosing instead to attend a family Christmas party.
"While he regrets missing the votes, it was a family obligation that he just could not break," Scarbro told the Charleston Gazette. According to Scarbo, Manchin and his wife had “planned a holiday gathering over a year ago with all their children and grandchildren as they will not all be together on Christmas Day.”
That explanation proved unpersuasive to Republicans. In a press release, National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Brian Walsh accused Manchin of demonstrating he doesn't take his job seriously:
"I'm sure that most Senators, as well as the hundreds of staffers who had to come to work today, would have rather been at a Christmas Party like Joe Manchin. [...] For a Senator who has only been on the job a few weeks, Manchin's absence today, and the apparent lack of seriousness with which he takes the job he was elected to do, speaks volumes."
Walsh noted that Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, who is set to undergo surgery to treat prostate cancer on Monday turned out for the two Senate votes.