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GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn said he missed 15 House votes because he was fulfilling his ‘service as a husband’

  • Rep. Madison Cawthorn said he missed votes to fulfill his “service as a husband” on his honeymoon.
  • An analysis from Quorum showed Cawthorn has missed the most votes of any freshman lawmaker.
  • Cawthorn told “Real America’s Voice News” that all the votes he missed were on “Democrat garbage.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn said his “service as a husband” kept him from over a dozen congressional votes in April and described all the missed votes as “Democrat garbage” during an interview on the conservative program “Real America’s Voice News.”

Data collected by the legislative-analysis firm Quorum and reported on by Axios found that Cawthorn had missed the highest percentage of votes — 16.2% — of any freshman House member during the 117th Congress. The top five freshmen to miss the most votes are all Republicans. 

“To that, I really laugh. It shows how the Democrats feel about the nuclear family in America right now. I was doing the only thing that I find more important than my service in Congress, and that’s my service as a husband,” Cawthorn told host David Brody when asked about Axios’ reporting on his missed votes. 

Cawthorn said that “they had the votes pile up” the week he was away for his honeymoon after marrying his wife, Cristina Bayardelle, in his home state of North Carolina in early April, which resulted in him missing out on 15 votes. 

“Every single vote that came up was some Democrat garbage, so I was happy to be able to not actually have to vote on those,” Cawthorn said. “They’re eliminating our voices. They’re not allowing us to debate on the House floor. And, I’m telling you, if I had to choose between voting with Nancy Pelosi or spending time with my beautiful wife, I’ll choose Cristina every time.” 

Cawthorn also did not designate another lawmaker to enter votes on his behalf while he was on his honeymoon. Under special COVID-19 procedures, House members can vote by proxy via a colleague

Read more: A multitude of Trump-era mysteries are poised to come roaring back into the headlines. Everyone involved is bracing for what happens after that.

Cawthorn’s spokesperson Micah Bock previously told Axios that the congressman “married the love of his life on April 3rd of 2021. Due to his honeymoon, he missed House votes occurring between April 13th and April 16th.”

Cawthorn, 25, was elected to Congress from North Carolina’s 11th District in 2020 to replace Mark Meadows, who left Congress to serve as former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff. As the youngest person elected to Congress in two centuries, Cawthorn has positioned himself as a voice for young conservatives. 

Early in his tenure in Congress, Cawthorn wrote in an email to his colleagues saying he built his “staff around comms rather than legislation,” Time reported in January.

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