|Rep. Eric Swalwell|
As cries of "Shame! Shame! Shame!" from Democratic lawmakers rained down on the House floor Thursday over a failed amendment to bar contractors from federal contracts if they discriminate against the LGBT community, the voice of East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell was absent.
The amendment offered by New York Rep. Sean Maloney was defeated by a single vote Thursday. Swalwell was one of eight legislators who did not register a vote. In addition, eight members, including four from Southern California, changed their vote to no after it appeared the amendment would pass.
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Swalwell scrambled to address his notable no-show, posting an explanation on Facebook Thursday afternoon. "I had to fly home to California on Tuesday night for a family health emergency, and so I missed some votes yesterday and today," wrote Swalwell.
Instead, Swalwell laid the blame squarely on House Republicans for maneuvering to thwart the bill at the last minute.
Not missing votes and maintaining a consistent presence in Washington has long been Swalwell's promise to his constituents since he unseated Pete Stark four years ago. Standing strong with the community LGBT has been another, although not entirely consistently.Why I missed the vote on @RepSeanMaloney's amendment to prevent #LGBT discrimination: pic.twitter.com/W3SmDVVfFC— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) May 19, 2016
Two years ago, Swalwell used another excuse to avoid renewing his membership in the House LGBT Caucus. This time it was because of inability to afford its membership dues.