“You should ask: Does this Congress spend too much time away? Having all of October in recess is unheard of in recent years.”
“Critical unfinished business lies unaddressed. But when we are in session, it is not much better. Serious business is forgone for red-meat partisan proposals.”
“With the Republicans lacking any desire to work on anything that could help the president, there’s not much going on to keep us in D.C.”
“The Republican schedule would be fine if the Republican leadership wanted to produce legislation that would be conferenced and pass.”
Too little time away
“Republicans have adopted the ‘hardly working’ schedule in hopes that their vulnerable members can use the time to campaign for reelection. If the American public has good sense, seeing more of these members will make them less likely to be reelected, instead of more likely.”
“It isn’t the time away; it’s the shallow agenda when in D.C. Are there any post offices left to name?”
“Until we get members who want to talk to each other, nothing important will happen regardless of how much time we spend in D.C.”
Does Congress spend too much time away from the Capitol in an election year?
REPUBLICANS (21 votes)
Too much time away: 14%
About right: 67%
Too little time away: 19%
Too much time away
“We are not getting anything done. The Senate has opposite weeks in session, so it is taking forever to move anything through committee, then to the House floor, then to the Senate.”
“There is no reason to hang around D.C. when everyone knows the big decisions won’t be made until the American people decide who is going to make them.”
“When D’s controlled everything, they worked five days a week, and most of the time was fillers just for show. No wonder the wave washed them out in historic numbers. They never wanted to go home and talk to their constituents.”
“Cantor’s schedule of events has really allowed for me to hear what’s going on in my district. I’ve been able to meet with more constituents, and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Too little time away
“The House handles its business efficiently. The same cannot be said for the Senate.”
“We need to spend time with the people we represent.”
“We could spend every day in Washington in 2012 and it wouldn’t change a thing in terms of getting bills across the finish line.”
“Nothing good happens when Congress is in session, regardless of who holds the gavel…. When the [Republicans] hold it, what Congress does is just less bad.”
Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher A. Coons, Mark Pryor, Tom Udall; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Tammy Baldwin, Karen Bass, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, James Clyburn, Gerry Connolly, Joseph Crowley, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Elliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Marcy Kaptur, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Ed Markey, Jim McGovern, Jim Moran, Gary Peters, Collin Peterson, David Price, Linda Sanchez, Kurt Schrader, Allyson Schwartz, Jose Serrano, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, Peter Welch, and Frederica Wilson.
GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, David Vitter; Reps. John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Jeff Denham, David Dreier, Sean Duffy, Jo Ann Emerson, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Trey Gowdy, Kay Granger, Tim Griffin, Doc Hastings, Nan Hayworth, Tim Huelskamp, Mike Kelly, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Adam Kinzinger, John Kline, Doug Lamborn, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Tom Price, Dave Reichert, Reed Ribble, Phil Roe, Paul Ryan, Aaron Schock, David Schweikert, Austin Scott, Adrian Smith, Steve Stivers, Lee Terry, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Daniel Webster, and Joe Wilson.
This article appears in the June 23, 2012, edition of National Journal.