Congress Takes a Break... From Doing What?

Published on: 14:01PM Nov 01, 2013

If you subscribe to the theory that we are better off when Congress is not in session then you'll be happy with next year's schedule for the House of Representatives.  House leadership has announced they plan to be in session a total of 115 days in 2014.  For those who believe members of Congress should only be part time employees it seems you are getting your wish.  Of course they get full time pay and benefits and if my math is correct 250 days vacation!  Now I realize time spent back home with constituents also qualifies as work but my point is we elect these people to go to Washington and get the work of the country done.  Based on recent results they can't seem to fit that work into their tight schedules. The farm bill was supposed to be done a year ago and the current extension is about to run out.  Summer has turned to fall and winter is fast approaching.  You would think there would be a sense of urgency to get something done.  Instead we waited and waited for conference committee conferees to be named and then for them to get to work.  One hearing later and they are back on break for 2 weeks.  A break from what?  Don't you have to be doing something before you can take a break from it?  Most of the work that does get done during these breaks is often done by staff members, many of whom were laid off during the recent government shutdown while their bosses got paid.  It might be too much to ask for Congress to get paid based on job performance and productivity but it shouldn't be too much to ask that they at least have to show up for work a little more often.  If not, then just email the votes and save the travel expense.  At least that would be some deficit reduction.