Congress Will Work 5 Days
…instead of 4. Good.
From Wash Post:
Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, the Maryland Democrat who will become House majority leader and is writing the schedule for the next Congress, said members should expect longer hours than the brief week they have grown accustomed to.
“I have bad news for you,” Hoyer told reporters. “Those trips you had planned in January, forget ’em. We will be working almost every day in January, starting with the 4th.” […]
For lawmakers, it is awful, compared with what they have come to expect. For much of this election year, the legislative week started late Tuesday and ended by Thursday afternoon — and that was during the relatively few weeks the House wasn’t in recess.
Next year, members of the House will be expected in the Capitol for votes each week by 6:30 p.m. Monday and will finish their business about 2 p.m. Friday, Hoyer said.
That certainly seems like 4.5 days to me. Much less than the average worker in America. And that’s not to mention the extended vacations they get, and the perks.
Still, at least one member has a legitimate concern…
For lawmakers within a reasonable commute of Washington, longer weeks are not a burden — although they are likely to cut into members’ fundraising and campaigning activities. But for members from Alaska and Hawaii, the West Coast, or rural states, the new schedule will mean less time at home and more stress.
“Keeping us up here eats away at families,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who typically flies home on Thursdays and returns to Washington on Tuesdays. “Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families — that’s what this says.”
Time away from Washington is just as important to being an effective member of Congress as time spent in the Capitol, Kingston added. “When I’m here, people call me Mr. Congressman. When I’m home, people call me ‘Jack, you stupid SOB, why did you vote that way?’ It keeps me grounded.”
Again…I think it’s good. And a smart step by the Dems.
“Hard” work will be good for the new Congress.