From Charlotte Observer 12/31/07:
Lawmaker's '07 voting records highlight their attendance, party loyalty
One of Congress members' only actual responsibilities is to show up and vote.
Some lawmakers had more success at that than others in 2007.
The N.C. member with the best attendance was Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Republican from Banner Elk whose district includes much of Iredell County. She missed only two votes out of nearly 1,200 cast, according to a tally kept by www.washingtonpost.com.
Rep. Sue Myrick, a Republican from Charlotte, missed the most out of the N.C. delegation, skipping 78 votes this year, or 6.7 percent of the House roll calls.
The vote database also attempts to illustrate the lawmaker's level of party loyalty vs. an independent streak.
The N.C. lawmaker who voted least often with his party was Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican from Farmville. He joined the majority of GOP lawmakers 78.1 percent of the time.
The member who agreed with his party most often was Rep. David Price of Chapel Hill, who voted with Democrats in 98.1 percent of roll calls.
The overall House average for Democrats voting with their party was 92.4 percent of the time, compared to 85 percent for House Republicans.
Those statistics don't always tell an accurate story, though. As the Washington Post reported last week, voting can be manipulated to look like a lawmaker is more independent than is actually the case.
The Post noted that Rep. Heath Shuler, a freshman from Waynesville, voted with fellow Democrats only 84.2 percent of the time.
Often, he was opposing Democratic colleagues on substantive legislation. But 11 of the occasions he bucked his party were to vote against approving the journal of the previous day's proceedings -- arguably the least meaningful and least controversial vote that Congress takes every day.
So, with those caveats, take a look at the voting records of the area's lawmakers.
Senators cast fewer votes than House members in 2007, just shy of 450 votes.
The overall Senate average of Republicans voting with the majority of their party was 80.9 percent, compared with 87.6 percent for Democrats.
Here's the number of missed votes for Carolina senators, followed by the percentage of time they agreed with their party.
Representative Party-Hometown Votes missed Party parity
David Price D-Chapel Hill 24 98.1%
Brad Miller D-Raleigh 14 97.5%
G.K. Butterfield D-Wilson 57 97.1%
Bob Etheridge D-Lillington 5 96.6%
Mel Watt D-Charlotte 14 96.6%
John Spratt D-York, S.C. 19 95.9%
Patrick McHenry R-Cherryville 32 91.5%
Sue Myrick R-Charlotte 78 91.3%
Robin Hayes R-Concord 59 90.8%
Mike McIntyre D-Lumberton 5 90.8%
Virginia Foxx R-Banner Elk 2 90.5%
Howard Coble R-Greensboro 59 90%
Heath Shuler D-Waynesville 9 84.2%
Walter Jones R-Farmville 35 78.1%
Senator Party-state Missed votes Party parity
Sen. Elizabeth Dole R-N.C. 17 90.6%
Sen. Richard Burr R-N.C. 11 89.3%
Sen. Lindsey Graham R-S.C. 16 87.6%
Sen. Jim DeMint R-S.C. 11 84.2%