The Ups And Downs Of A Longer Congressional Work Week

It’s hard not to have mixed feelings about this:

Forget the minimum wage. Or outsourcing jobs overseas. The labor issue most on the minds of members of Congress yesterday was their own: They will have to work five days a week starting in January.

The horror.

…Hoyer and other Democratic leaders say they are trying to repair the image of Congress, which was so anemic this year it could not meet a basic duty: to approve spending bills that fund government. By the time the gavel comes down on the 109th Congress on Friday, members will have worked a total of 103 days. That’s seven days fewer than the infamous “Do-Nothing Congress” of 1948.

Hoyer said members can bid farewell to extended holidays, the kind that awarded them six weekdays to relax around Memorial Day, when most Americans get a single day off. He didn’t mention the month-long August recess, the two-week April recess or the weeks off in February, March and July.

On the one hand, it’s great to know that these lazy stuffed shirts in Washington are going to have to work a more normal schedule instead of getting so much time off. On the other hand, the longer Congress is in session, the better chance there is that they’ll get things done and the more that they “get done,” the worse off Americans will be.

It’s like Ronald Reagan once said,

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

The less the government “helps,” the better.

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