ACCORDING TO The Washington Times, this year’s Congress is set to be one of the least productive in history. But that doesn’t mean it’s set to be the least active.
Far from it, argue Roll Call’s Meredith Shiner and Emma Dumain, who write on how members are milking every spare moment of August recess to reconnect with constituents at town halls, issue summits, and state fairs. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is hosting several summits, including the annual Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is focusing his schedule on smaller constituent meetings, likely in preparation for his re-election bid.
Lawmakers are also using their time off to plan for what is sure to be a contentious fall session. To this end, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) has drafted a recess “playbook,” a 31-page PDF distributed to GOP lawmakers to keep them on-message. There’s no evidence that Democrats have drafted a similar document, but they’re certain to have an equally collaborative strategy for August.
It’s no surprise that McMorris’s playbook substitutes “Recess” for “District Work Period.” For wherever Members of Congress may be, whether in D.C. or elsewhere, they’re guaranteed to be working.