Politics

New Bill Would Force Congress To Work 40 Hours A Week

| by Charles Roberts

Congress recently introduced a bill that would force the House of Representatives to follow a typical American workweek.

Republican Rep. David Jolly of Florida's bill would require the House to be in session at least 40 hours a week while in Washington, WFLA reports. Jolly explained that the American public expects their elected officials to work nonstop to solve the nation's problems, and he believes that they can do more to meet this demand.

“This ‘try-nothing’ Congress needs a reality check," Jolly said, according to WFLA. "A work week in Washington should be no different than a work week in every other town across the nation."

The U.S. House has been in session an average of 137 days per year over the last 20 years, while the average American full-time employee works 241 days per year.

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Considering the "extent of the national and global issues" that Congress currently faces, the House of Representatives "simply cannot address the many priorities of the nation if [they] are not in session more days," Jolly said last year.

Instead of the typical five-day, 40 hour workweek, House members typically come into work Monday evenings to cast their vote at 6:30 p.m. and head back to their districts early Thursday afternoon, the Hill reports.

The proposed bill would not apply to recess weeks, when Congress members work in their district and reach out to their constituents.

Jolly said:

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Americans are sick and tired of Washington inaction.  They expect their leaders to govern. Look at all the bills gathering dust while Congress braces for the next self-made calamity.  Let’s give voice to the people on issues like border security, transportation, a budget that finally balances. The frustration is not that we haven’t achieved these things, it’s that we haven’t even engaged in a legislative fight to begin to advance the agenda that is right for the American people.

Jolly unsuccessfully proposed a similar legislature last year that would have required the House to work five days a week, whenever it is in session.

Sources: WFLAThe Hill
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons