The Main Reason Congress Is Getting So Little Done Is... They Will Have 218 Days Off In 2017

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

Would you like to have a job that gave you 218 days off a year? According to the official calendar put out by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the House of Representatives will only be in session for 147 days in 2017. And that is actually an increase from last year. In 2016, there were only 131 legislative days for the House. So if you are wondering why Congress never seems to get anything done, this is one of the biggest reasons. The sad truth is that members of Congress simply do not spend a lot of time doing what they were elected to do.

If you are an average American worker with a full-time job, you probably put in around 240 working days a year. If you have to work that hard, why can’t Congress?

And actually things used to be even worse. The New York Times looked back at 2013 once it was done, and they found that the House was only in session for 942 hours for the entire year. When you break that down, it comes to about 18 hours a week.

If you go all the way back to 2006, there were just 104 legislative days in the House. It is almost as if they just decided to take pretty much that whole year off.

This is what I am talking about when I say that we need to “flush the toilet”. Those that are fortunate enough to be chosen to represent us in Washington should be some of the hardest working people in the entire country, and unfortunately we are getting just the exact opposite.

In the past there have been efforts to make members of Congress work full work weeks, but those efforts have always ended up failing

Some attempts have been made to force members of Congress to work full weeks. In 2015, for example, a Republican lawmaker from Florida, Rep. David Jolly, introduced legislation that would have required the House to be in session 40 hours a week when members of the House were in Washington, D.C.”A work week in Washington should be no different than a work week in every other town across the nation,” Jolly said at the time. Jolly’s measure failed to gain traction.

Congress gets especially lazy during the summer months. Many Americans don’t realize that every year Congress takes the entire month of August off. And actually, the House will be on vacation from July 29th all the way to September 4th in 2017.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had the entire month of August off every year?

This year, U.S. Senator David Perdue is proposing that the August vacation be canceled because there is so much for Congress to do. According to Senator Perdue, there are five major tasks that need to be accomplished by September 30th

First, we have to complete the work on the first phase of repealing Obamacare and fixing our health care system.


Second, we have to pass a budget resolution that will work within the reconciliation process for changing the tax code.


Third, we have to use the appropriations process to fund the federal government by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.


Fourth, we have to deal with our debt limit. The Treasury Department has used extraordinary measures to buy time since the national debt hit its limit of $19.8 trillion in March.


Fifth, we have to finally act on our once-in-a-generation opportunity to change our archaic tax code, but we will only be able to do so if we achieve the first four priorities.

If those things don’t get done in time, members of Congress should not expect the voting public to have any sympathy for them.

Of course there are many that would argue that members of Congress actually work very hard and that they need all of that time off to “serve their constituents”. The following comes from Snopes

Members of Congress have two jobs: represent their constituents and govern. These responsibilities do not always go hand in hand. Representing constituents means speaking with them in person, holding town hall meetings, organizing rallies, attending to casework, and otherwise being present in the district or state they represent. This is not easily done from a Washington office. Supporting or opposing legislation is an important part of a member’s? job. However, it does not come close to capturing members?’ range of responsibilities. This is why even when Congress is out of session, members are at work. Most members of Congress work a five-to-six-day week. The representative aspect of Congress?’s job is almost completely ignored in these statistics.

Yes, without a doubt it is important for members of Congress to go back and interact with those that elected them.

But at the end of the day their main job is to do the work that they were elected to do.

And even when they are in Washington, many of these Congress critters are spending much of their time on activities that have nothing to do with legislation. For example, in his new book entitled “Giant Of The Senate”, Senator Al Franken admits that he often spends much of his day on the phone raising money…

“It’s not uncommon to have three straight hours of call time scheduled as part of your day. … It’s brutal.”

This is why we need federal term limits. If members of Congress were not so busy constantly raising money for their next elections maybe they would have time to actually get something done in Washington.

In November the American people gave the Republicans control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Enormous amounts of time, money and energy went into those campaigns, and now we want to see some results.

Instead of flying off for a month-long vacation in August, Congress should stay in town and get to work. The Republicans have already wasted much of the first half of 2017, and the mid-term elections are right around the corner.

It is time to change the way that Washington works, because right now we have a system that is deeply broken.


Trucker Glock Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:00 Permalink

Cut their pay to $15/hour on days in session and give them one round trip ticket to DC.  All other funding must come from their district.  Health insurance, employees, technology, pens, paper, etc.  Whatever their constituents are willing to fund.Fucking scum.

Kendle C Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:01 Permalink

Pause, think of Rubio with his high deliberate steps in his shoe lifted high heels too weak to stand straight, rather, humped over in a simian crouch. What he sees in is head is different to what we see. What he thinks, different; a kaleidescopic universe reeling around himself at the center. Every utterance, to him, genius. Now see him spitting into the phone angrily, note how the crowned teeth don't meet the gumline, blackness therin dwells as in his soul. Now take the next august rightborn honorable representative, see him or her as they are, scum.

Stormtrooper Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:05 Permalink

From the Constitution:"2: The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December,5 unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day."I believe that the United States would be far better off if Congress did meet just for that one day in December.  They could have a circle jerk and then go home without doing major damage to the country. 

newworldorder Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:15 Permalink

Well - lets ask ourselves this question.What percentage of Congress in both houses, - could hold down an equal management or executive level job in any industry in the US, where individual performance matters, - without being fired within 6 months.Except for Military Personnel now in Congress, who proved they "could cut it" during their Military Service, whom else?Congress is primarity a club of liars who can spin golden BS and tell us that it does not stink.

Barney Fife Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:19 Permalink

Seriously Michael, what the hell are you complaining about?What would people rather have?A congress that was working 365 days a year scheming to enslave us or a congress that only put in less than 150 to do the same? Damn, think before you kneejerk. This is weak. 

Umh Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:17 Permalink

They only pretend to work anyway. The lobbyists set the agenda and "craft" the legislation. The reason nothing seems to be done is because that is the desired outcome. Year after year they rattle the electorate just to keep them blinded, the "other guys" want to take away your "pet cause".

FoggyWorld Umh Thu, 06/29/2017 - 20:10 Permalink

It's this bad.   Our congressman had a fundraising dinner which foolishly Trump attended.  Ticket prices ran from $10,000 to $100,000 each.   This district only has a very few politically connected lawyers who could afford that bottom ticket so one suspects that the big spenders came from the guys who have interests bigger than ours and who can pay their way into our Congressman's office though they of course don't live here. And no Antoinette cake for those of us who are stuck with him and this.   And the other party does the very same thing.

In reply to by Umh

Barney Fife Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:18 Permalink

Now if they were working to undo the damage that the past governments have inflicted on us over the generations then that'd be a wholly different matter. But they are not. They are scheming to reach deeper into our pockets and to revoke more of our God-given liberties.  

DirtySanchez (not verified) Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:29 Permalink

Term limit these pieces of shit.Vote them out of office every chance you have.Prosecute corrupt corporations and billionaires corrupting the system.Street justice beatings and worse to the professional political class.

kp duty Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:38 Permalink

Steve Martin: "and I get paid for doing shit like this".Over paid, under worked, over fed, free everything, better benefits.  Beginning to look like Roman senate.Did I mention out of touch? 

cheech_wizard Thu, 06/29/2017 - 18:20 Permalink

That's why I'm running, and only asking people to write me in. (Avoiding as much legal crap as I can...)Standard Disclaimer: My day job has been sort of sucking lately.