Why Does Congress Take a Five Week “Vacation”?

Congressional approval ratings have matched the all-time low of just 12 percent, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. That means that fewer than 1 of every 8 Americans thinks Congress is doing a good job. Much of this dissatisfaction is surely deserved, but far too many people have the wrong idea about what members of Congress are supposed to do for a living.

Congress recessed on August 2 and will return to work on September 10, leading millions of Americans to gripe, yet again, about the easy life of our Congressional representatives. Sorry folks, this one isn’t true either.

Members of Congress work more hours in every week than most Americans ever thought of working. Whether you like them or not, whether you agree with their principles or not, they do show up for work. Yet politically ignorant Americans think that the members aren’t working if they’re not on the House and Senate floors every minute. That is not the way Congress works.

Read More http://voices.yahoo.com/why-does-congress-take-five-week-vacation-11699828.html?cat=75

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David B. Grinberg

Patricia: the answer to your initial question can be summed up in one word: politics. Moreover, as the late, great former House Speaker Tip O’Neill astutely observed, “All politics is local.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tip_O'Neill

I have a suggested solution: why doesn’t Congress get with the program and use “telework” rather than “vacation”? Than do away with “recess” altogether and just have a minimal number of Members rotating in and out during that “telework” time. I’m just thinking out loud here. Does this make any sense, at least for PR purposes? It may cause some boost in public approval ratings nationally, albeit probably not by much.