But his absence from the Senate is hurting a voting record that was not very good.
According to a study by Congressional Observer Publications of all Senate votes taken from the first day of the Senate session in January until the middle of May, Vitter had missed 12 votes, more than all but eight of his colleagues in the 100-member Senate.
Many of the senators who missed more votes than Vitter, like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., are running for the White House.
The report said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-New Orleans, missed three.
Vitter missed another seven votes this week, most of them on amendments to a massive defense bill.
According to Senate rules, a senator's pay can be docked for absences that do not involve illness or family problems.