Why Should Congress get the Holidays off?
During the holidays, surgeons can’t simply step away from the operating table and leave their work until the New Year. Pilots and air traffic controllers won’t be grounding all planes until after they celebrate Christmas with their families.
From grocery stores workers, to gas station attendants, to bank tellers, most workers across America do not have the luxury to close up shop for weeks at a time.
So why does Congress?
This year, Congress has a huge project looming over their desks that needs to be addressed before adjournment: the fiscal cliff. President Obama has been in negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans in attempts to resolve the fiscal cliff issue, which involves a series of spending cuts and tax hikes, before Congress adjourns.
Obama urged Republicans in a press conference Wednesday to take his deal, which involves a tax increase for the wealthiest two percent of Americans and tax breaks for the middle class.
"They keep finding ways to say no rather than to say yes… At some point they’ve got to take me out of it and think about what’s best for the voters. And do that,” Obama said during the press conference. It seems as if being angry at the boss only gets somewhere in Congress.
If nothing is done about the fiscal cliff, it is likely to suck $500 billion out of the economy in 2013. The magnitude of this issue in another industry would have other American workers burning the midnight oil until a resolution is decided upon.
Just like other American workers, congress members should be with their families on Christmas or for other holidays. But, just like other American workers, there is important work to be done — work involving the livelihood of millions of Americans — and so should not have the luxury to simply adjourn if nothing is settled.