Thursday, July 30, 2009

Six Months Off

I think we ought to go back to the six-months-on, six-months-off schedule for Congress. All that extra time they spend in Washington puts them closer to lobbyists and further from constituents. Plus, they don't seem able to get much more done in that extra time except get on Meet the Press and other media appearances.

They should also all have to take trains to and from their districts. Nancy Pelosi can have a pullman car.

When they come back to Washington, we can have them stay in a high-density project, so they don't have to maintain two homes.

With that out of the way, they can cut down on their staff assignments in DC, and increase staff in the district. This would lower the rents and the number of "insiders" in DC.



patsbrother said...

Personally, I don't care when they do it but I want them to spend more time in Washington actually talking to each other. They spend too many weekends home, and by weekends I mean that stretch of time between Thursday afternoon and Tuesday evening.

In their books, both Barack Obama and Al Gore lamented that the cameras are on in the halls of Congress, but no one but the congressperson speaking is there. There is no real debate anymore. Politicians preen for the cameras and that's it: that's the debate.


No one should introduce bills into committee out of whole cloth. Those committees should actually debate on the main features they want a law to possess, vote on each of those features, and then build up bills around those features. I know that sounds old fashioned (see the Constitutional Congress), but bills should be based more on reasoned discussion and not read like biased position papers.

To achieve this, I think members of Congress should spend actual quality time in Washtington. (But not the type of "quality time" spend in Washington by now former Senator Elizabeth Dole.) They spend too much time hoofing it back to their districts and campaigning off-season as it is. Our ambassadors to foreign countries actually go there and stay there and only take limited trips back home; our representatives to the national legislature should do the same.

DADvocate said...

Maybe if they're in Washington less, they'll pass less crappy legislation too.

patsbrother said...

There's always a silver lining with you.

We can only wish...