The House of Representatives will be in session this year for fewer days than the Congress Harry Truman labeled as “do-nothing” during his 1948 re-election campaign.
Congress took an entire week off for St. Patrick's Day. If they stick to their current schedule — including two weeks off in April, a week in May and July, plus all of August — House members will spend 97 days in Washington this year.
“This is an election year and people want to see more of their constituents,” says House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Some experts think an absentee Congress is not bad. “I don't think there's anything wrong with them being out of Washington,” says John Samples of the Cato Institute, a think tank that favors limited government. “They might be better representatives.”
Congress will make $165,200 this year.