ALLEN WEST: GET TO WORK. Spoken like someone who worked five days a week in the same location or spoken like someone who has never worked in legislative government? That is the question of whether Col. Allen West should be surprised by Congresses work schedule. Col. West, who will be sworn in to the 112th Congress in ten days on January 5th, says that Congress takes too many days off. The Republicans typically favor not being in session a whole lot as we saw during the Hastert/DeLay years. Incoming House Speaker John Boehner removed eleven weeks of work from the 2011 House calendar as compared to Speaker Pelosi’s work schedule during 2010.
The House plans to be in session 123 days in 112th Congress next year out of 365 days. It is common that Republicans and Democrats begin the first month of the year with time set aside for policy retreats for at least three days during January.
WEST: “There’s a retreat that starts on the 7th, which is…you know, really a nice family time to go to Williamsburg… But I don’t think that that is something that the constituents of the 22nd district wanted me to come up there and do. Because, there’s a lot of people that can’t have taxpayer-funded vacations — a lot of people down here that have not had the opportunity to have vacations.” West added: “The American people expect Congress to do a thorough review of our nation’s spending priorities and I believe the number of days in session do not provide an adequate amount of time for such oversight.”
Half the incoming Republicans who will arrive will be freshman. Half. Many of them will have never served in any legislative government of any kind before in their lives. Should be quite interesting.