House Democrat will miss vote on GOP health care bill

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., takes part in a congressional round-table on college sports, offering their perspectives on current state of NCAA athletics, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois does not plan to be at the Capitol when the House of Representatives votes on the Republican health-care plan, currently scheduled for Thursday night, CBS News’ Walt Cronkite reports. 

Rush’s wife died days ago of congestive heart failure and her funeral will be on Saturday. He called Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to notify her that he would miss the vote, but Rush’s spokesperson left open the possibility that his plans may change, though.

In a statement, the Illinois congressman said of his late wife, “She was everything to me,” adding that he was “devastated” by her death.

His absence will mean that House Republicans can afford to lose one more vote on the bill to replace Obamacare -- 22, rather than 21. If there is a tie, the measure will fail. CBS News’ current count of those Republicans who say they cannot support the legislation in its current form can be found here.