Senator Routinely Absent From Capitol Hill Despite His Own Calls for “Leadership”

WASHINGTON – John Kerry is criticizing GOP Congressional leadership for sticking to
traditional plans to recess for the August home district work period and not coming back to take up the 911 Commission recommedations. Kerry charges that Republicans are putting politics ahead of homeland security and pushing the debate on the 911 Commission proposals back until after the election.

"Backpedaling and going slow is something that America can\’t afford," Kerry said July 27 in
Norfolk, VA. "It will take real, bipartisan leadership (in Congress) to protect this country of ours.”

Ironically, John Kerry’s leadership in the Senate has been in de facto adjournment for the majority of the 108th Congress. Kerry has missed 71% of Senate floor votes since 2003. Worse still, of the 163 roll call votes held on the Senate floor in 2004, Kerry has shown up for a mere 17 (10%).

“John Kerry is demonstrating an astounding level of hypocrisy,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). “He wants to criticize the leadership of Republicans for adjourning at a traditional date when he has hardly shown his face in the Senate for two years.”

John Kerry has not cast a vote in the Senate since May 25, 2004. He has missed crucial votes on
Medicare reform, defense appropriations and tax legislation. The 17 votes Kerry did cast this year were highly partisan. Eight were against second amendment gun rights and two were against bills protecting unborn children from violent criminals.

“Missing 90% of your votes clearly does not demonstrate the level of leadership we need from a United States Senator,” Norquist continued. “Kerry has put his own political interests over the well being of the American People.”

John Kerry is elected to the Senate through 2009 and has not indicated any plans to step down. In contrast, 1996 GOP candidate Bob Dole resigned his senate seat to insure his constituents and the American people received the leadership they deserve during his campaign.