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house Bill H. Res. 149

Should the House Have to Hold Votes 5 Days a Week For 39 Weeks Per Year?

Argument in favor

Members of Congress need to earn the salary that taxpayers pay them, and requiring the House of Representatives to hold votes five days a week, 39 weeks a year would ensure that they’re doing their jobs as legislators to get things done.

James's Opinion
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08/15/2017
Personally I think Congress' recess should be curtailed to 4 weeks per year (running the world's most powerful country is a full time job) but this is a step in the right direction.
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08/15/2017
You mean should they have to do 40 hours of actual work per week just like the rest of us? YES
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FilmTeacher's Opinion
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08/15/2017
They should work JUST AS HARD as the rest of us. Additionally, they should have their time spent fundraising monitored and should be required to work at least 2 hours for every hour they spend fundraising and meeting with lobbyists. Is this not fair?
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Argument opposed

Congress gets things done at its own pace, and there’s no reason to think that requiring a bunch of House lawmakers who’d rather be home in their district to cast votes five days a week, 39 weeks a year will yield more accomplishments.

stewaa99's Opinion
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08/15/2017
If voting is needed then vote, if it isn't then focus on something else, like engaging constituents, or educating yourself in disciplines you are inexperienced in, so you can make better use of your votes by understanding different perspectives.
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Susan's Opinion
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08/15/2017
Frankly, I agree with Will Rogers on Congress. Mainly that the less time they're up there doing stuff, the safer the country is. Making them vote on stuff doesn't mean they're voting on stuff that's good for us. Meaningless votes are just as bad is no votes at all. If they are not going to study what they're voting on, which you know they're not, Then they shouldn't be voting at all.
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Jan's Opinion
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08/15/2017
This is populism that would be easy to abuse. Rules that encourage house members to give each bill a careful look while making them to move along is more desirable.
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What is House Bill H. Res. 149?

This resolution would change the rules of the House of Representatives to require that votes be held in the House for five consecutive days each week except during any recess, or four days during any week in which there’s a holiday. The House would be limited to 13 recess weeks during each calendar year. This requirement would take effect with the first session of Congress beginning on the date this resolution is adopted, which would be considered along with other House rules on the session’s first day.

Impact

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 149

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) introduced this bill to “get Congress back to work” by requiring that the House meet five days per week for 39 weeks out of the year:

“Never before has it been as important for Congress to flex its muscle as the branch of government with the power of the purse and the power of oversight over the White House. Congress needs to fully investigate Russian influence over the White House. Congress needs to legislate on immigration reform to grow our economy and keep families together. Congress needs to pass not one, but two budgets this year that provide for a strong national defense and invest in the next generation, not a useless border wall. To accomplish all of these priorities and monitor whatever else the President decides to throw at us, Congress needs to show up.”

This legislation has the support of three cosponsors in the House, including two Democrats and a Republican.


Of NoteSince 2001 the House has worked 139 days per year on average, and in 2017 it’s scheduled to work 145 days.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: mrod / iStock)

Official Title

Amending the Rules of the House of Representatives to require the House to meet 5 days a week for 39 weeks each year.

simple resolution Progress


  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Rules
    IntroducedFebruary 17th, 2017
    Personally I think Congress' recess should be curtailed to 4 weeks per year (running the world's most powerful country is a full time job) but this is a step in the right direction.
    Like (66)
    Follow
    Share
    If voting is needed then vote, if it isn't then focus on something else, like engaging constituents, or educating yourself in disciplines you are inexperienced in, so you can make better use of your votes by understanding different perspectives.
    Like (85)
    Follow
    Share
    Frankly, I agree with Will Rogers on Congress. Mainly that the less time they're up there doing stuff, the safer the country is. Making them vote on stuff doesn't mean they're voting on stuff that's good for us. Meaningless votes are just as bad is no votes at all. If they are not going to study what they're voting on, which you know they're not, Then they shouldn't be voting at all.
    Like (55)
    Follow
    Share
    You mean should they have to do 40 hours of actual work per week just like the rest of us? YES
    Like (49)
    Follow
    Share
    This is populism that would be easy to abuse. Rules that encourage house members to give each bill a careful look while making them to move along is more desirable.
    Like (40)
    Follow
    Share
    They should work JUST AS HARD as the rest of us. Additionally, they should have their time spent fundraising monitored and should be required to work at least 2 hours for every hour they spend fundraising and meeting with lobbyists. Is this not fair?
    Like (38)
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    That sounds like a recipe for disaster by pushing through bills that aren't fully vetted. No!
    Like (33)
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    This problem of excessive vacation time with House members can be solved by switching to a "per-diem pay. Not a way to run a business, but elites always need time off to rub elbows with rich and famous or support ribbon cutting back home. Guess one can figure out why this bill's sponsor is Democrat and from the the great socialist state of California.
    Like (21)
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    Focusing on the job instead of campaigning might actually lead to accomplishing something.
    Like (20)
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    If this bill would increase the amount of time congress spends in session while still giving time for actual discussion and reworking of legislation then it is a worthwhile bill
    Like (19)
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    A quota does not encourage thoughtfulness. Some bills take more time than others. Seems like an unnecessary constriction.
    Like (16)
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    Yes, Congress in session for 195 days sounds good. This still leaves plenty of time for Town Halls and face to face meetings with the public. There no reason to rush a bill through, they can take ample time discussing it. Just like the rest of of us who work full time and still get out to vote for them. They should work full time for us. Thank you.
    Like (13)
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    Forced law making isn't good for anyone. The legal process takes time with debate and research. Rushing into something that affects the entire nation isn't a smart move. However, congress needs to do SOMETHING!
    Like (10)
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    This would allow for useless bills to make it look like they are doing work.
    Like (9)
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    Voting simply for the sake of voting is not a valid form of government. Do better.
    Like (8)
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    They should be required to work for their pay- why should they not work as hard as I do just because they were elected?
    Like (7)
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    No, but they should have mandatory times set to reading the legislature they plan to vote on, and mandatory town halls.
    Like (7)
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    This is an amazing notion! If you added to this bill that the congress had to also meet their campaign promises and vote on the issues their constituents elected them to vote on, then absolutely. Passing laws is their job after all. Add to that the notion that they would be legislating instead of fundraising (and thus campaign finance reform) and you've got a winner here!
    Like (6)
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    Forcing them to vote will not make them smarter or more informed about what they are there for. Frankly I think the whole job of congress could be done in one week every three months. We should make it part time with part time pay and no benefits. 4 weeks pay a year max will limit the amount of damage the knuckleheads can do as well as limit the amount of our tax dollars they can steal!
    Like (6)
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    If you don't like the pace at which your representatives work, then fire them and elect better ones. Micromanaging is not the answer.
    Like (5)
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