The House Passes a Veterans Bill … Twice

Sometimes, voting can be confusing.

The U.S. Captiol dome is seen before work begins on a two-year, $60 million rnovation of March 19, 2014 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
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Billy House
June 10, 2014, 11:54 a.m.

The House on Tues­day passed its Vet­er­ans Ac­cess to Care Act 421-0.

And then it passed it again 426-0 in a “re­vote.”

What promp­ted the do-over?

Turns out, sev­er­al mem­bers who in­ten­ded to cast votes ac­tu­ally missed the first roll-call — in­clud­ing even the bill’s main spon­sor, Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs Com­mit­tee Chair­man Jeff Miller, a Flor­ida Re­pub­lic­an.

Re­port­ers out­side the cham­ber, ini­tially puzzled about the re­peat vote, pressed Miller af­ter­wards.

Miller ac­know­ledged, “I missed the first vote. I was in my of­fice and missed the first vote.”

But de­term­in­ing who the oth­er four law­makers were — who also did not an­swer the first bell only to show up for the second — is not as simple. The of­fi­cial his­tor­ic­al House re­cord of that vote has been va­cated com­pletely.

As a hu­mor­ous aside, GOP Rep. Kev­in Brady of Texas quickly sent out a press re­lease after the votes de­clar­ing: “House Votes to En­sure Timely VA Health Care.”

Timely for the VA and vet­er­ans, maybe, but not for a hand­ful of snooz­ing law­makers.

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