U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller (R-11th) apologized Thursday for missing Monday's House vote on the financial bailout bill but said he has been a more active congressman than newspaper reports have portrayed him to be.
"In hindsight, missing votes over the past week was a mistake, and I apologize to my constituents for missing those votes," Weller said in a phone call from Washington, D.C.
Weller's call was the first time The Herald News of Joliet had been able to reach him since Monday, when reporters began calling his offices to try to learn why he was the only member of the House to miss the vote on the massive rescue package.
Weller, who is not seeking re-election, said he stayed home in Morris because of a medical matter concerning his family, reiterating an explanation given earlier by his staff. Weller was in Washington on Thursday, waiting for a vote on a new version of the rescue plan.
He also missed a vote Saturday on a bill of prime importance to several towns in the 11th District. It would've forced federal regulators to give greater weight to community concerns when deciding whether to approve a railroad merger, such as Canadian National Railway's proposed acquisition of the EJ&E Railroad. The railroad bill failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to pass.
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