From the Department of Nice Work If You Can Get It, the United States House of Representatives will go down as the laziest ever in 2013 — and next year congressional leaders plan to take it even easier.
The 2014 House schedule released recently by Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor shows only 113 work days for the elected representatives. While that’s down from the 126 days they worked this year, at least the reps are busier than the sleepwalking Congress of 2012 who put in only 107 scheduled work days.
Today is just December 2, but the House of Representatives has a mere eight scheduled work days left this year and the first week of next year. The House comes back to work January 7.
A typical American worker who puts in a five-day week with two weeks of vacation, chalks up 250 work days, year-in and year-out.
Even figuring in two weeks of vacation, House members will work an average of slightly more than two days per week next year, according to the schedule.
While Cantor has not commented on the light schedule, a statement issued by his office said that it would increase “efficiency and productivity.”
However, on the contrary, in the remaining eight days Congress has little hope of reversing its trajectory toward recording the least productive year in congressional history. Through the end of November, Congress had passed fewer than 60 pieces of legislation.
The previous low was 1995, when Republicans gained control of the House and faced down Democratic President Bill Clinton. But the congressional reps still somehow passed 88 pieces of legislation that year.
But Republican House Speaker John Boehner thinks that congressional sloth is a good thing.
"We should not be judged on how many new laws we create," Boehner said earlier this year. "We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal. We’ve got more laws than the administration could ever enforce."
He failed to note that repealing laws is also legislation. In other words, Congress would need to pass a new law to repeal an old one. So far, the elected representatives have done extremely little of either.
SOURCES: Washington Post, Huffington Post, KPCC Radio