U.S. House members left town yesterday afternoon, and won't return until Nov. 12. That, of course, will soon be followed by a Thanksgiving break, a little more work, and then another break for the winter holidays. There are really only 17 legislative days remaining in the calendar year, and since Republicans can't think of anything to do, this already light schedule may be slimmed down further.
The House GOP's defenders may think they're just pacing themselves. Sure, 2013 isn't working out to be productive -- or really, even respectable -- but maybe congressional Republicans will work harder in 2014. Or maybe not.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) office put out the legislative schedule for the next calendar year, and Daily Kos' Jed Lewison put together this helpful image. In case you're curious, the total is 113: that's the number of days House Republicans have scheduled for themselves to show up for work on Capitol Hill in 2014.
It really is nice work if you can get it.
And just to reiterate a point from the other day, keep in mind that the 112th Congress was the least productive since the clerk's office started keeping track seven decades ago, and this current 113th Congress is on track to do even less. Presumably, the Republican majority could at least try to take up meaningful bills in the hopes of passing something, but at this point, they're not even inclined to bother. Rather, they're thinking about showing up to work even less.
When GOP officials argue that they'd love to pass meaningful legislation, if only they had more time, it's important that no one take these claims seriously.