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Congressional whining over 5-day work week

Reported by Chrish - December 7, 2006 -

The party's over. Steny Hoyer, the soon-to-be House Majority Leader, is writing up the schedule for the 110th Congress and is warning his colleagues that they'll be burning the midnight oil and working 5-day work weeks rather than the abbreviated 3-day weeks they've become accustomed to.

Explains a lot, doesn't it?

John Gibson had Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia to react on The Big Story yesterday 12/6/06, and he was not a happy camper.

King reportedly played the partisan card, saying

"Keeping us here eats away at families. Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families...that's what this says."
(Comment: one word leaps to mind - Resign.)

He claims that even with a three-day schedule in DC, Representatives put in 60-70 hour weeks. Much of the work of Congress, he says, is done talking to constituents, listening and learning, and with Blackberries and cell phones it's just not necessary to physically be in the DC office. Gibson did not point out that those devices work both ways, and it is no longer necessary for Congress(wo)men to physically visit their districts every week in order to stay in touch with voters.

But to his credit, Gibson did give King a pretty hard time about the objections. He noted that most Americans work 5 days a week, and judging from the last election voters were pretty ticked at Congress - what did the 109th Congress get done??

King replied that it was disengenuous to suggest that Congress only worked 2-3 days a week and he doesn't know anyone who works less than 60 hours a week. He admitted that his party lost the mid-terms because they didn't produce, they drifted, and some weeks they twiddled their thumbs. When they were in DC, he said, they were naming bridges and Post Offices - they were not having quality time. If they go ahead with this 5-day workweek, he predicts, there'll be Potomac fever. Legislation will be conceived and born inside the Beltway, and will serve inside the Beltway.

Oh Puhleeeze....like it isn't already self-serving. Anyone who can't hack the job and away time had no business pursuing the "public service" position in the first place. Welcome to reality, Congressman.