Congress–Few Work Days and Little Accompished

On last night’s program on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow pointed out the House of Representatives are scheduled to work 19 more days this calendar year. As usual, her presentation was well researched; she connected many different dots to explain the ramifications that the lack of work days in Washington has on the quality of work the Congress has accomplished this session.

Look at the Official Calendar! 

The House is scheduled to end work at noon tomorrow (Wednesday, October 30) for their Halloween–>Veteran’s Day  Vacation/“Constituent’s Work Week.”

They are scheduled to be back in DC for 8 days, from November 12-21. Then it is more at home time until they return to Washington on Monday, December 2 for a four day work week. 

After a four day week-end (Friday, December 6-Monday, December 9,) they return for another four day work week, Tuesday, December 10-Friday, December 13.

That’s It until 2014!

When are they going to work on the newest legislation to avoid the next government shutdown–debt ceiling crisis?

When are they going to work on Immigration, and the Transportation Act? I keep getting drawn back to the Farm Bill. Our congressman, Rep. Tom Reed, told us in a July 11 press release told us: 

“Farmers are counting on the House to get a Farm Bill passed,” Reed stressed. “Today’s bill is the way forward so that we can go to conference with the Senate and get a long-term Farm Bill signed into law.” and he quoted said Dennis Rak, Owner of Double A Vineyards in Fredonia. “In a perfect world we would get this all done at once and have it behind us. For the agriculture community it is important that we get a farm bill done so we can make plans for the future.” He ends the press release with: “Passage of this bill sets the stage for a conference between House and Senate passed bills.”

It has been four and a half months since Rep. Reed’s press release. If the farmers were “counting on the House to get a Farm Bill passed” they must be pretty upset with this congress. Many farmers realize that the same last year they ran out of time, and couldn’t come to an agreement. They fianally decided not to change the bill, and decided to work on it this year. Will they pass it on to do next year?

Below is a chart also shown on last night’s Rachel Maddow Show that shows the the number of Bills Passed By Congress from 1947 to 2012. The 1947 date is important because that congress was nick-named the “Do Nothing Congress”. This year’s congress is on track to pass fewer bills than 2012’s Congress’s 196 bills.

Many of the bills passed by congress this year were naming Post Offices, Bridges, and Road Ways after for Military Personnel who gave their lives for our country. I understand that and I believe that is important. It is also important to work to solve the problems that we are facing.

Bills passed chart

Not only does the Congress not spend a lot of time working  in Washington.  When it is in session, they don’t get a lot accomplished. How can we change that? I have an idea, how about you?



About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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2 Responses to Congress–Few Work Days and Little Accompished

  1. Anne says:

    We could begin by tying their pay to their productivity?


  2. Deb Meeker says:

    The 113th Congress will have “worked” 126 days of the 2013 calendar year. Even if we are generous and give them credit for 10 hours days when they are working, the Congress members are “earning” approximately $138.10 an hour, which is $2.30 a second. Nice job if you can get it.


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