Already gone: Nathan Deal missed 50% of votes in 2010

U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal has attracted some immediate national attention for his decision to resign from Congress – from those calculating what his absence might mean for a health care bill:

This was posted by National Review’s Jim Geraghty:

Apparently Rep. Nathan Deal, Republican of Georgia, thinks he can help his gubernatorial campaign by being known as, “The House Republican who helped pass Obamacare.” If he resigns, as rumored, the Democrats will only need 216* for a majority.

Erick Erickson at Redstate, another conservative blogger (and a Karen Handel supporter), makes the same point:

At a time that every vote counts on health care, Deal resigning means the Democrats have one less vote they have to pick up to take over 1/6th of our economy.

As does ABC’s The Note:

That means the total number of House members will be 431 — and the magic number to pass a bill drops to 216 as of Tuesday, March 9. That’s still no easy task — but every vote counts in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bid to pass health care reform.

Deal’s announcement comes a day after the resignation of an all-but-sure “yes” vote for Democrats: Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii. Abercrombie, like Deal, is running for governor, and wants to concentrate on his campaign full-time.

The other two vacancies were also previously held by Democrats who were likely to support the health care bill: Robert Wexler, D-Fla., stepped down from his House seat in January to become executive director of the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation; and Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., passed away last month.

Many have also tossed in the fact that Deal’s resignation brings an immediate end to a congressional ethics investigation.

But a conversation with one Georgia Republican insider turned up this: Deal resigned from Congress despite the blowback on health care and ethics – not because of it.

The Republican race for governor has been in a state of stasis for months, and with each passing day state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine’s position solidifies. To Republicans who see Roy Barnes in their rear-view mirror, the prospect isn’t a good one.

GOP behind-the-sceners know that their support, now scattered among several candidates, will have to be consolidated if Oxendine is to be stopped.

Deal was simply reacting to pressure from prominent Republican leaders to, as one contact put it, “drastically re-commit” himself.

My AJC colleague Bob Keefe says Deal was already spending more and more time in Georgia. Deal by far has the worse voting record of any member of the Georgia congressional delegation. He’s missed more than half of all votes in 2010.

Here are the stats that Keefe sends us:

– 2009-Q1: Deal missed 9.2% of votes, 16 of 174

– 2009-Q2: Deal missed 24.1% of votes, 73 of 303;

– 2009-Q3: Deal missed 5.2% of votes, 14 of 268;

– 2009-Q4: Deal missed 32.1% of votes, 79 of 246;

– 2010-Q1: Deal missed 50.8% of votes, 33 of 65;

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32 comments Add your comment


March 1st, 2010
1:52 pm

Why should a Congressman even miss 1 vote? He’s being paid to be there for one reason – to represent us. To not vote on anything means he’s to much of a coward to make a stand.

Ignore us in Washington, we’ll ignore you on the ballot.

Deal Real Steal

March 1st, 2010
1:53 pm

Deal is a crook, he has taken millions from Georgia tax payers. Now he leaves the country in a lurch, by making it easier for Pelosi to get the votes she needs to pass health care reform.

Lanier Peach

March 1st, 2010
1:58 pm

We need Tom Graves in that seat!

East Lake Ira

March 1st, 2010
1:58 pm

Nathan’s the man!! Please win the primary! You got my vote!!!

You Asked

March 1st, 2010
2:17 pm

More evidnce that anyone qualified to run for the Legislature is to sane or ethical to try.


March 1st, 2010
2:22 pm

Rod, not true! Congressman Tom Price’s job description — for which he receives a generous tax-funded paycheck and years worth of future pension — entails seeing how may times a week he can get his mug on TV and radio, and how many whack-job rallies he can attend on the weekends. Representing us is not on his list of priorities. GREAT JOB, Rep. Price!

Deal Real Steal

March 1st, 2010
2:30 pm

Deal has also brought his DC spending ways to Georgia. He spent $200,000 more than he raised the last 6 months of 2009. Is that the kind of leadership experience he wants to bring to Georgia?

The Late Maynord Jackson

March 1st, 2010
2:30 pm

, “The House Republican who helped pass Obamacare.” If he resigns, as rumored, the Democrats will only need 216* for a majority”

Deal was a Democrat for years but became a Republican because the money was better. He is the Jackson Machine’s Boy and has our full support.



March 1st, 2010
2:40 pm

Another hypocrite !! Cares more about campaigning than doing the work the people elected him to do. Additionally, if you don’t vote – it can’t be used against you. WOW – look at the top GOP choices – can’t we do better? UNBELIEVABLE – where are all the people that are trustworthy? Is there not ONE good man/woman that will stick their neck out there?


March 1st, 2010
2:41 pm

Deal resigned so he will not have to face the house ethics commission after what they did to Charlie Rangel (a Dem) he was afraid of the negative publicity it would cause and they cannot move forward if he is no longer in Congress. Georgia is facing both a budget and ethics crisis.

Eade Chit N Run Rabbits

March 1st, 2010
2:48 pm

Worked just half the time? I belive I’D send my paycheck back.

Please Verify

March 1st, 2010
3:10 pm

“with each passing day state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine’s position solidifies”

Are you speaking of the Fortune Magazine quote: “You give me money because you’re afraid not to” ??

Are you speaking of trying to extort a sitting congressman?

Or are you referring to hunting accidents on private land owned by executives that he regulates as insurance comissioner?

It appears to me, and everyone else that I know, that Oxendine is falling apart more and more with each passing day.

I know you have been covering these stories very thoroughly. How could you make a statement so contrary to your reporting? Especially when all of this has come out in the last 3 weeks.


March 1st, 2010
3:12 pm

Nathan Deal and his family will be covered in a health care plan that the rest of us can only dream about for the rest of his life.

Congress people have the worst perspective on the health insurance crisis in this country. No other group can possibly be more disconnected to the growing problem than these people who will have 100% coverage for their entire lives.

If you want to fix health care, we should drop the Congressional Health Plan, let every member go out and shop for individual plans for their families and then come up with ideas.


March 1st, 2010
3:23 pm

Tom Graves will be a much better congressman for our district.

Road Scholar

March 1st, 2010
3:35 pm

Drop Deal’s HC coverage and make him pay for the congressional election.

No Deal — Peach Pundit

March 1st, 2010
3:42 pm

[...] Jim Galloway sheds some light. But a conversation with one Georgia Republican insider turned up this: Deal resigned from Congress despite the blowback on health care and ethics – not because of it. [...]


March 1st, 2010
3:46 pm

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.


March 1st, 2010
3:57 pm

Vote for Poythress, Porter or Champman. Look at what they have said, done and stand for. Georgia is in desperate need of an honest, committed, hard working, forward-looking governor. The rest of them scare me.


March 1st, 2010
3:58 pm

Make that Jeff Chapman, not Champman.


March 1st, 2010
4:33 pm

The Republican nominee will be whoever runs second in the primary behind Oxendine. That is entirely up for grabs. You have three candidates who quit jobs to which they were elected — Handel, Deal, Johnson — in order to campaign fulltime. Not sure how voters will view that.

Conventional wisdom is that Roy Barnes is unbeatable in the Democratic primary, but the novelty and freshness of Team Porter might just pull it off. Baker could have been unbeatable in the Democratic primary if he hadn’t alienated so much of his base in the Genarlow Wilson case.

Marlboro Man

March 1st, 2010
5:09 pm

Graves has never done anything for the working man, schill for business.

Confused Voter

March 1st, 2010
5:11 pm

I get more confused every time I read an article about our choices for governor. I can`t find a good one.
Does ANYBODY know anyone that has announced so fare that can be trusted?

honest abe was a republican

March 1st, 2010
5:19 pm

rod said it perfectly, they’re in Washington to VOTE, and represent us…How many “present votes” did Obama have when he was a Senator. Not sure of the exact number, but i do know it was more than any other Senator in Washington…

the ballots should look like this…

that’s it,,the word present shouldn’t even be an option…

Army Brat

March 1st, 2010
8:56 pm

honest abe was a republican….I hope you know that President Obama voted present in Illinois and not the US Senate. Please note the distinction.

It is so easy to scoop Jumbo G

March 1st, 2010
10:49 pm

Wait ’til Jumbo G and the other libs at the Urinal-Constipation find out that Ralph Reed is gonna run for Congress. They, then the national media wh@res, will go completely bananas. This is gonna be fun!!!!!

It is so easy to scoop Jumbo G

March 1st, 2010
10:54 pm

Obama wasn’t in the Senate long enough to hang the pictures in the office, Brat. Obama did manage to become the most liberal Senator, jumping ahead of Schumer, Kennedy and Kerry, according to the National Journal (center–left publication). That is quite an accomplishment considering he was only there about ten minutes before started running for Pres.


March 2nd, 2010
7:24 am

@Confused Voter: Check out Austin Scott on the GOP side:
and DuBose Porter on the Dem side:

Churchill's MOM

March 2nd, 2010
8:51 am

Confused Voter 5:11 pm

Handel, Monds and Chapman


March 2nd, 2010
9:55 am

Anyone who quits their elected position before they need to in order to run for another post should be suspect. Qualifying isn’t until the end of April. But if you hold an elected office you can’t raise campaign money during the legislative session. Nathan Deal wins all the way around with this move. 1. He stops the investigation into his businesses. 2. He can raise a boatload of money. But this is my favorite 3. He can make public appearances and continue saying the stupid things he has over the past few months. Deal has as much chance of winning as the Easter Bunny. Oh, the Easter Bunny isn’t real? Neither are Deals alleged reasons for resigning his office at this time.


March 2nd, 2010
6:38 pm

Nathan Deal is a good man. It is sad that so many of the bloggers spend their time with such hatred. It is amazing that these people have forgotten that Nathan is the only Republican Candidate that can beat Roy in November. He has the vision to fix education in this state, by retaining the best teachers. He will put Georgians back to work with his plan. Georgia needs Natan Deal whether they realize it or not.


March 2nd, 2010
8:45 pm

Nathan Deal is a racist birther. It is sad that Ken does notunderstand this. Ken claims that Nathan is the only Republican Candidate that can beat Roy in November…baloney! He is one of the most uneducated representatives in the state and represents an uneducated population. He does not even know what a best teacher looks like. He will cut education spending and set Georgia back for many years. Georgia perhaps deserves people like low IQ inbred Natan Deal, but it definitely does not need him.


March 3rd, 2010
9:28 am

No Deal on Deal
One of the few bright spots left in the economy in North Georgia is healthcare and medical services. Obamacare will clobber both the patients and providers. Deal should stay in Congress and be there to vote against this horrible bill. After all that why he was voted in, right , to represent the people, the folks. Instead, when the going gets tough he cuts and runs chasing the mansion on West Paces Ferry. Deal has enjoyed strong support from physician groups but when Georgia’s medical providers needed him he left the building. Deal is no Deal !