As Democrats have been pushing extending unemployment benefits in Washington this week, Alaska Democratic senator Mark Begich missed an important vote to give a speech to a lobbying organization in Hawaii.
Begich, one of a handful of vulnerable red-state Democrats, delivered a speech at an annual event hosted by the American Association of Airport Executives, according to the Hill. While in Hawaii, he attended two fundraisers and met with Hawaiian governor Neil Abercrombie.
An aide stated that the senator committed to the speech before the vote was scheduled, and the additional events were later planned.
The Senate voted to invoke cloture on the federal-unemployment-extension bill, getting the necessary minimum of 60 votes after six Republicans joined Democrats. Begich was the only Democrat to miss the vote.