Carson seems well on her way to racking up the worst attendance record in Congress. "Carson has missed 71 percent of the 77 floor votes since the House returned from its August recess after Labor Day," Groppe observes. "She has missed 13 percent of the 923 votes held since January, her lowest participation rate since 2004 when health problems caused her to miss 31 percent of votes."
Carson is unable to cast votes without the assistance of her staff according to a Capitol Hill newspaper. "[Carson] has been using a wheelchair to get around the Capitol, has had aides and colleagues insert her voting card into the voting machines on her behalf when she has been present and voting," Groppe writes. Rep. Vic Defazio (D-CA) explained how he had assisted her with her voting recently. "It was clear she was going to have difficulty getting out of her chair and up the stairs to vote in time," DeFazio said in a statement. "He said he saw her vote card in her hand, offered to insert it for her, and asked how she wanted to vote." "She answered with a lucid `yes,'" DeFazio said. "I took the card and within her full view, I inserted and voted 'yes' on her behalf and took the card back to her and confirmed the `yes' vote."
It appears to me this story first surfaced in a Capitol Hill newspaper at the instigation of the House Democrats. Do you think it's possible the folks in Washington are trying to communicate a message to the voters back in the 7th District?
IndyStar.com asks viewers in an online poll if Carson should retire because of her health problems. Ninety percent (90%) say she should retire.
UPDATE: After Groppe's online story appeared, Carson's staff released a statement acknowledging that Carson has been hospitalized at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis since last Friday for an infection in her leg. The story now includes this:
The statement said the infection is under control and Carson is "very anxious to get back to work," but did not say when that would be. The statement said she may require physical rehabilitation "but she is expected to return to the job soon."Carson's office released the explanation after questioned about a leave of absence she requested Wednesday, after missing votes Monday and Tuesday.