Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Reveal Navigation

Understanding How House Recesses Play Out Understanding How House Recesses Play Out Understanding How House Recesses Play Out Understanding How House R...

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation


Congress / CONGRESS

Understanding How House Recesses Play Out

photo of Kenneth Chamberlain
August 16, 2012

How much time do members of Congress actually spend in Washington, D.C.? At least for recent recesses for members of the House of Representatives, not a lot.


Despite popular perception, congressional recesses aren't playtime for most House members. Many return to their home districts to continue their work. But representatives are elected to represent their constituents, so understanding how much time is spent in recess compared with the legnth of congressional sessions is a key to understanding the institution as a whole.


This is what the charts below attempt to do. Although imperfect by not taking into account the times between sessions, which are also days representatives aren't in Washington, they can give a decent understanding of how much time representatives have spent in Washington, beginning at the start of the first session of the 78th Congress in January 1943, according to data from the House Clerk's Office website


The first chart is the length of each session based on the total number of days for each session (each session is represented by the number of the Congress and the session number, so that the first session of the 102nd Congress is "102-1").

The second chart, for each session of Congress, shows the number of days reserved for recesses as a percentage of the total length of each session in numbers of days.

You May Find These of Interest
Get us in your feed.
Job Board
Search Jobs
Inspector Test/Assembly, Elect
Lockheed Martin | Littleton, CO
Business Process Anlyst
Lockheed Martin | Chantilly, VA
Systems Administrator
Lockheed Martin | Hanover, MD
Software Engineer - Carson CA
Lockheed Martin | Carson, CA
Software Engineer Stf-Java
Lockheed Martin | Hanover, MD
Security Alarm Tech/Electrician
Lockheed Martin | Fairfax, VA
Lockheed Martin | Bethesda, MD
Systems Engineer-IT - Arlington, VA
Lockheed Martin | Washington, DC
Mult Func Fin Analyst Asc
Lockheed Martin | Liverpool, NY
College Student Tech
Lockheed Martin | King of Prussia, PA
Engineering Analyst
Lockheed Martin | Melville, NY
Mechanical Engineer
Lockheed Martin | Littleton, CO
Systems Engineer Stf
Lockheed Martin | Washington, DC
College Student Tech Sr Spec
Lockheed Martin | Middletown, RI
comments powered by Disqus