When Republicans in the Senate finally got their chance to pass a bill approving the the Keystone XL Pipeline on Thursday, Marco Rubio was on the other side of the country.
The pipeline bill passed the Senate 62 to 36 on Thursday and therefore did not need the Florida Republican’s support for approval. (The White House has threatened to veto the bill.)
But Rubio, who is spending the week fundraising in California, missed an opportunity to cast his vote for one of the top issues his party ran on during the 2014 elections.
His spokesman has defended Rubio’s fundraising, acknowledging that it is typical for people considering runs for president to be absent for some votes.
“It’s not unusual for presidential candidates to miss Senate votes,” spokesman Alex Conant told the Tampa Bay Times.“Senator Rubio has not made a final decision about 2016, but he’s seriously considering running for president and taking the necessary steps to prepare a competitive campaign. As he travels the country talking about his agenda to help the middle class, there will be no doubt where he stands on any important issues before the Senate.”
Earlier Thursday, Rubio attended a $1,000 plate fundraising breakfast.
Rubio wasn’t the only one to miss the vote: Senate minority leader Harry Reid, recently injured in Nevada, also did not vote Thursday.