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Absentee Congress: Lawmakers gone more than HALF of year as priority legislation gathers dust

Shouldn’t our elected representatives have to put in at least as much time as normal folks do?

(National SentinelCongress: We’re not ogres here, and we understand the need for folks to get away from their jobs from time to time.

But half a year or more is a little ridiculous — especially when it’s Congress and especially when Americans are counting on lawmakers to pass priority legislation like Obamacare repeal-and-replace and corporate/personal income tax reform (61 percent of Americans want the latter).

As reported by The American Dream Blog, Congress is taking off a lot in 2017 — 218 days, to be exact:

Would you like to have a job that gave you 218 days off a year? According to the official calendar put out by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the House of Representatives will only be in session for 147 days in 2017. And that is actually an increase from last year. In 2016, there were only 131 legislative days for the House. So if you are wondering why Congress never seems to get anything done, this is one of the biggest reasons. The sad truth is that members of Congress simply do not spend a lot of time doing what they were elected to do.

By contrast, normal folks with normal jobs (making far less than $174,000 a year for Representatives and Senators – more for leadership positions) work around 240 days per year, for comparison.

Shouldn’t our elected representatives have to put in at least that much time?

“And actually things used to be even worse,” The American Dream noted. “The New York Times looked back at 2013 once it was done, and they found that the House was only in session for 942 hours for the entire year. When you break that down, it comes to about 18 hours a week.”

Meanwhile, Americans’ health care premiums continue to rise along with their deductibles, while high corporate taxes continue to stunt job and economic growth, hurting the poorest among us.

Maybe Democratic supporters don’t mind that the GOP-led Congress is out of town so much, but the majority of American outside of California are looking to our elected leaders to solve these problems, and quickly – like the promised.

But they have to be in session to do that.

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