Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was one of just 13 House members to miss a vote Tuesday on ethics legislation that requires lawmakers to disclose more details of requests for special projects and fundraising help from lobbyists.
But the Miami Republican said she had a good excuse: She was in her Capitol Hill office with friends of Juan Gomez, a Kendall teen facing deportation to Colombia. As the bell signaling she had about 2 minutes to reach the House floor rang, Ros-Lehtinen was still in talks with the students, who are lobbying members of Congress.
"When you hear I didn't vote on the ethics bill, will you write a letter to the editor saying I was doing good work, constituent work?" she quipped to the students.
Congressmen often get dinged for missing votes - particularly by editorial boards.
The House didn't need her vote to pass the bill - it cleared by an overwhelming 411 to 8. One of the nays was cast by Florida's Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Monticello.