U.S. Rep. Mia Love was absent from most House votes since losing re-election

U.S. Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, participated in only 14 of 85 votes during the lame-duck House session that followed her defeat by Democratic Rep.-elect Ben McAdams, the worst of any member of Utah’s federal delegation and near the bottom of the entire Congress.

According to the website GovTrack, Love missed 83.5 percent of House votes during November and December — well above her average 4.1 percent absent rate — putting her in the 98th percentile for nonparticipation during the lower chamber’s lame-duck session.

In a prepared statement, Love’s spokesman Richard Piatt said the congresswoman has had a 100 percent voting record in the current Congress. That claim is inaccurate and is contradicted by official House voting records.

Piatt said Love has sacrificed a lot of family time while serving in Washington.

“She has been honored to have dedicated four years diligently serving Utah,” Piatt said, “but has, unfortunately, been home with a sick child recently.”

Catherine Weller, co-president of the Utah League of Women Voters, declined to comment on Love’s voting record, or the record of any individual member of the state’s federal delegation. But she added that members of Congress are elected to represent their states.

“We want to see our elected officials in the people’s House doing the people’s business,” Weller said. “That means casting votes and trying to work legislation through the system.”

(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)

Other members of Utah’s federal delegation saw more modest spikes in their absentee rates since the election. Rep. Rob Bishop missed 3.5 percent of votes in November and December — his highest rate since the summer months — Rep. Chris Stewart missed 5.9 percent of votes — his worst period since June of 2015 — and Rep. John Curtis missed 1.2 percent of votes, up from a perfect participation rate from July to September.

In the Senate, retiring Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch missed 1.8 percent of votes between October and December, better than his personal average of 3.3 percent. And Sen. Mike Lee maintained a perfect participation rate during the most recent voting period.

“I like to vote!” Lee said in a statement to The Salt Lake Tribune. “Giving constituents as full a voting record as possible is essential for a functioning republic.”

Since the election, Love has made several media appearances, expressing criticism of President Donald Trump, the national Republican and Democratic parties and her successor, McAdams, whom she described as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” during a fiery concession speech.

Her unsuccessful re-election bid was notably mocked by Trump the day after the election, during which the president singled out Love and other defeated Republicans and suggested their failure to enthusiastically “embrace” him and his administration cost them their seats in Congress.

“Mia Love gave me no love and she lost,” Trump said. “Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”

Love responded to the criticisms by describing Trump’s relationships as “transactional,” and suggesting the Republican Party needs to do more to appeal to women and people of color.