osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,
osewalrus
osewalrus

Congress and the 5 Day week: Not So Simple

The Washington Post carries this story on the House Schedule. Starting in January, House business will begin Monday evening and end Friday afternoon. At present, it starts Tuesday morning and ends Thursday afternoon (except for special sessions).
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/05/AR2006120501342.html

The real issue for me is not family issue. (Yes, it's tough for a job that requires commuting. But this is a problem for an increasing number of Americans with jobs involving extensive travel or long commutes). There is real value to having members in their districts a decent amount of time. It is extremely easy to get sucked into the Washington bubble and compeletly out of touch with the rest of the world. Being back home and available to constituents is supposed to alleviate that.

The flip side, of course, is it is unclear how much indistrict time members are actually doing. If this takes away from meeting with constituents and local government folks to talk about real issues -- or doing the obligatory public events and photo ops -- then I think eliminating in district time is a loss. But if most members are now using their time out of Congress to fundraise, then I'm a lot less worried.
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