Politics

House Of Representatives Will Be In Session Fewest Days In A Decade

President Barack Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress regarding health care reform

Amid complaints of Congressional inaction, the House of Representatives will be in session for only 111 days in 2016, far fewer than the number of work days they will have off.

According to the official calendar that the Republicans released on Nov. 3, the elected officials will have 150 week days off, reports the Star Tribune.

The House will not be in session at all during the months of August and October. Congress usually gets a break during most of August, and lawmakers seldom visit Washington during election years such as 2016 to accommodate busy campaign schedules.

While July is typically a busy month for lawmakers, who tie up loose ends before their summer break, the House has only nine workdays, largely because both parties have presidential conventions toward the end of the month.

The 111 days that the House will be in session marks the lowest attendance since 2006, when representatives met in the chamber 101 days during the year.

For comparison, full time workers with four weeks of vacation will work approximately 230 days next year.

"This calendar ensures that 'the People's House' always remains in touch with those back home," said Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California in a statement that accompanied the calendar's release, reports the Star Tribune. "Discussing ideas and concerns is a critical function of a responsive, representative democracy, and for this reason, our schedule will continue to provide members considerable time for constituent services in their districts each month."

The Senate is scheduled to meet 149 days next year, with 112 days off.

If legislative problems arise, such as if Congress struggles to pass a budget or other important bills before their deadlines, then they could see additional work days added as needed.

Despite Paul Ryan taking over as the House Speaker after John Boehner's sudden resignation, public approval for Republicans in Congress remains low, notes AJC. According to several polls, most Americans view legislators from the majority party unfavorably.

Sources: Star Tribune, AJC
Photo Credit: Lawrence Jackson/Wikimedia Commons

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