Monday, July 29, 2013

Catch of the Day

Great Ezra Klein item defending August recess. For Congress that is. As he points out, Congress for the most part is very much at work during what they try to call a "district work period."

I'm not sure that all 535 Members of Congress are intense hard workers, but in my first and second hand experience (I've known a fair number of people who worked on the Hill), not to mention what more careful research has found, the overwhelming majority work hard at their jobs. Doesn't mean they are all great at it; we've all known people who work hard but don't get anything done!

The one thing I'd add to Klein's piece is that legislative and committee staff are still busy at work during August. Okay -- not as busy, not even close, to how they are when Congress is in session. But it's not as if the business of legislating and oversight shut down when Members leave town; indeed, you'll find plenty of staff who will tell you that a lot of the "real" work happens when they can get Members out of their hair for a bit, and (even more important, perhaps) relax a bit from the minute-to-minute demands of committee hearings and floor debates. My sense is that this doesn't really apply so much to the long break after Congress adjourns before November in an election year until the new Congress begins in January (at least, if there's no lame duck session), but it very much applies to in-session breaks.

At any rate: nice catch!

1 comment:

  1. "I'm not sure that all 535 Members of Congress are intense hard workers, . . ."

    I would imagine that applies as much when they're in DC as when they're in their districts.


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