Democrats criticize Rep. Abraham for missing shutdown vote for fundraiser

Congressman Ralph Abraham (R-Alto)
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - After the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reopen some agencies due to the government shutdown on Friday, Democrats are criticizing 5th District Congressman Ralph Abraham for missing the vote.

The House voted by a near party-line 240-179 to reopen the Interior Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and some smaller agencies.

Ten Republicans joined all voting Democrats by voting "yes." The 10 defections were similar to the number of House Republicans who've supported other spending measures.

Democrats are calling out Rep. Abraham for missing Friday's vote to attend a fundraiser in Alexandria for his gubernatorial run. Baton Rouge Advocate reporter Elizabeth Crisp tweeted Thursday that Abraham held the fundraiser at the Red River Bank in Alexandria with a suggested contribution of $5,000.

When reached for comment, Abraham's spokesman stressed the Congressman's support for those impacted by the shutdown.

"He supports back pay for furloughed workers," said Cole Avery, spokesman for Rep. Abraham. "He had the highest attendance rate of all Louisiana congressman in the 115th Congress. He has a lifetime voting attendance record of 99.2%."

Just a few Republicans have joined Democrats as the House has voted to reopen some agencies closed by the partial federal shutdown.

The measure isn't expected to go anywhere in the GOP-controlled Senate, and the closure is continuing for a record-tying 21st day.