Congress takes the week off ahead of March 1 budget deadline

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by Dave Cassidy, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on February 18, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 18 at 8:21 AM

WASHINTON, DC - It's Presidents' Day and Congress is celebrating by taking the week off, even though lawmakers have a lot of work to do.

With massive spending cuts scheduled at the end of the month, Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi asked Republican leaders to cancel this week's break - but they declined. Democrats who run the Senate didn't cancel their break either.

Last year - Congress did the least amount of work since the 1940's. And based on what we've seen so far - this year won't be much different.

On Facebook, thousands of people have signed a petition called "No Deal No Break" - urging Congress to stay on the job until they get something done.

Some House members say they need to spend time back in their districts talking to the people they represent. Critics say they were elected to "go to Congress" and they ought to spend more time there.

Being away from the Capitol so much affects how the two parties work together too. Years ago, members of Congress spent more time here and often moved their families here. That's less common now. Democrats and Republicans spend less time together and don't get to know each other as well.

The average worker spends a lot more time on the job than members of Congress do. When you take out vacation days and holidays, the average American works just over 9 out of 10 weekdays. Members of Congress work here at Capitol - just under 5 out of 10 weekdays.

 

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