DECEMBER 06, 2006
Members of Congress have for years enjoyed cushy 2 -day work weeks and they are up in arms that soon they will have to work five days a week like most Americans.
The new House majority leader from Maryland, Steny Hoyer, has caused quite a commotion among his colleagues by announcing that the schedule for the next Congress will include five-day work weeks although the hours will still be shorter than those kept by most Americans.
It’s still not a bad deal since the new week will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Monday and end at 2 p.m. Friday. Lawmakers still consider it awful, compared to the current schedule that goes from Tuesday evening to Thursday morning. Additionally, a six-week Memorial Day holiday will be cut to match the single day that the nation’s workers get off.
Apparently the new leadership is trying to make up for this year’s unproductive Congress, which didn’t even meet its basic duty of approving government spending bills and has been compared to the infamous do-nothing Congress of 1948. In fact, the 109th Congress worked seven days less than the 1948 Congress.
Perhaps having a regular work week will improve matters in the 110th Congress. Lawmakers will certainly miss their old schedule, which one political blog says, allowed them time for a fancy lunch on Wednesday paid for by (convicted lobbyist) Jack Abramoff or some other lobbyist and maybe 18 holes on Thursday before catching a plane home. Now they may actually legislate.
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