Pew Research Center Survey Finds Congressional Members Are Out of Town for More Than Two Weeks During The Summer

Congressional leaders are returning to Washington after the Fourth of July break and so is the phenomenon of lawmakers’ self-imposed August recess. And while the vacation has traditionally been viewed as a time to…

Pew Research Center Survey Finds Congressional Members Are Out of Town for More Than Two Weeks During The Summer

Congressional leaders are returning to Washington after the Fourth of July break and so is the phenomenon of lawmakers’ self-imposed August recess. And while the vacation has traditionally been viewed as a time to head home to relax, enjoy some much-needed time off and then return to work ready to hit the ground running, it turns out members of Congress actually spend more time away from the office than most people think.

Some people think lawmakers are gone for a few weeks at a time while others think they just head to their home districts to relax. Yet, according to the numbers, lawmakers are actually away more than two weeks during August in any given year, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. And while sometimes lawmakers go home at that time, others are staying put in their quarters in D.C. a lot longer.

Pew recently asked more than 800 Americans about how long they thought members of Congress went away to vacations or conferences, and 40 percent said they were gone for more than three weeks during the summer. Looking at the past 10 years, Pew found that lawmakers stayed away for an average of three more weeks. Of course, not all members of Congress stayed in Washington that long, with only 14 percent of the House leaving the capital for at least six weeks during August.

This is all in a survey that Pew said included “genuinely random data” and that “Congress is at the bottom” of the most powerful countries in the world list. That ranking puts the United States at No. 30, which ties for last place with Myanmar. Other countries who make up this list include Pakistan, Russia, Mali, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, and Iraq.

From what we see in the survey, it seems lawmakers feel like they are well worth their holidays, and actually quite committed to their jobs. And given that we are less than a month away from their return to Congress and a return to the campaign trail, it would appear that lawmakers are on the job.

What do you think?

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