Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hoyer Cracks the Whip

[posted by Callimachus]

Go, Democrats!

"[Congress] will have to work five days a week starting in January."

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, the Maryland Democrat who will become House majority leader and is writing the schedule for the next Congress, said members should expect longer hours than the brief week they have grown accustomed to.

"I have bad news for you," Hoyer told reporters. "Those trips you had planned in January, forget 'em. We will be working almost every day in January, starting with the 4th."

The reporters groaned. "I know, it's awful, isn't it?" Hoyer empathized.

For lawmakers, it is awful, compared with what they have come to expect. For much of this election year, the legislative week started late Tuesday and ended by Thursday afternoon -- and that was during the relatively few weeks the House wasn't in recess.

Next year, members of the House will be expected in the Capitol for votes each week by 6:30 p.m. Monday and will finish their business about 2 p.m. Friday, Hoyer said.

Mind you, that doesn't mean I want Congress to be passing more legislation. No, this is just pique, because, as Captain Ed puts it, Tuesday afternoon through Thursday "hardly sounds like a challenging schedule for people who make $165,000 a year in salary, plus a special pension and exemption from Social Security taxes."