July 31st, 2008
05:00 PM ET

Does Congress deserve month-long vacation?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Our Congress should be ashamed of itself.

Despite getting nothing done about the issues troubling millions of Americans – like energy costs, high gasoline prices, offshore drilling – Congress is going to take a month-long vacation starting tomorrow.

In the Senate, Republicans have been blocking any other legislation until they get a vote on drilling. And since the Democrats' prospects seem pretty good for November, they don't want to cave in to the Republicans' demands to vote on drilling now, months before a new administration and Congress. To hell with what the public needs or wants…how can we turn the oil drilling issue into a political advantage for ourselves?

Iowa Republican Charles Grassley may have put it best when he called the Senate "constipated” and said it could use a good dose of laxatives.

If you're tempted to vote for an incumbent this fall, remember this: Congress plans to be out of town until after the political conventions end, returning to Washington September the 8th. If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid had any guts they'd cancel the vacation and keep Congress in session until some of these issues are resolved.

It's no surprise the American people are disgusted with the whole lot of them. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll puts Congress' approval rating at 22%. And that's high. Other polls have the rating as low as 9%.

This poll also shows 76% of Americans say things are going badly in our country. Only three times in the past have Americans been so discouraged about the state of our affairs: Watergate, the Iran hostage crisis and the economic downturn of 1992.

Here’s my question to you: In light of its many accomplishments, does Congress deserve a month-long vacation?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Stacy from Virginia writes:
Jack, Congress does deserve a month off but they should not go on vacation. They should have to meet with their constituents daily to hear how congressional failings are putting the working people of this country in jeopardy. Then, they might be motivated to come back and really do something.

David from Alexandria, Virginia writes:
Heck no, Jack! We have an energy crisis, a financial crisis, an immigration crisis, Social Security and health care issues - and that's just the stuff their constipation hasn't let them fix in the past 30 years. These are the same folks that vilified the Iraqi legislature for taking a couple of weeks off before they finished rebuilding their whole damn government.

PJ from Seattle writes:
If all Americans would do as I have done for the last 5 elections, the government would be listening to us. If "incumbent" follows the name, DO NOT VOTE FOR THEM. If a candidate has no political background; is a housewife, accountant, or anything but a lawyer, vote for them. There would be no more life-long senators, congressmen, etc. They would not dare take weeks off and refuse to allow bills to reach a vote!

Taylor writes:
Politics at an all-time low. Whatever depths their approval rating is currently, it's more than they deserve. I wonder how many plane tickets and gallons of high octane gas they'll use to fill their luxury vehicles as they trot off to an unearned vacation. Where is the will of the people in this decision? The leaders will rue this day.

Tommy from St. Louis writes:
Must be nice. Meanwhile, I have to do double shifts just so my wife and I can get by.

John from Bethel, Connecticut writes:
Think of it for a minute: Where can they do the least harm: in Washington or on vacation?

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (260 Responses)
  1. Dave in Saint Louis

    It looks to me with this type of vacation they think they are the congress in France!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  2. James from Virginia

    i think you already know the answer to this question.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  3. Len Albuq New Mexico


    July 31, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  4. Paula from Georgia

    No, they are just waitng for the elections to be over. They have done nothing,just enough to say they have. They shot down Obey last year in taking out all the freebies they get. Just to stick to same old. When all said and done, your scripts for the Dems to win this year, has already circle the wagons to the finish line. Our lives will be same today anf tomorrow. Nothing will change. Just the names at White House and a few in Congress and the Senate.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  5. Greg in Cabot AR

    Many accomplishments????

    I thought they were on vacation.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  6. T.J. Marshall (Raleigh, NC)

    Sure... they can do less damage that way.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  7. John in San Diego

    What the heck, Jack, Congress has been on a seven-and-a-half year hiatus – what's another month?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  8. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    Congress needs to be replaced. This group forgot its oath of office! They are so preoccupied with money made the easy way, getting re-elected, up-staging, petty argueing, and extra-marital affairs, that it is a wonder they are ever seen in the Capitol except when the cameras are on.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  9. Stacy from Inglewood, CA

    No. They should get 4.5-day "stay-cations" like the rest of us.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  10. J.D.

    They deserve it about as much as their inflated salaries and super duper health coverage. What a scam. I ought to run for office.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  11. Emma from San Jose, CA

    I guess it goes with their job, but many of us cannot afford that luxury.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  12. Jed in Redding, CA

    Why not? They've effectively been on vacation for the last 18 months, so what's another few weeks?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  13. Russ - Johnston, IA

    I can't imagine why...what did they get, a week at July 4th, 2weeks at Memorial day? Have they even done anything this Summer? I saw them yesterday debating legislature for something to do with the Univ. Miami quarterback who won the Heisman trophy? Just what is that about?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  14. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Sure.......a month long vacation from Congress is just what this country needs. If they are on vacation, they can do no harm.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  15. Mike, Connecticut

    Absolutely not. The Democrat lead Congress, which has much worse approval ratings than the "wonderful" Bush presidency, is clearly not working. There are too many issues at stake, such as off-shore drilling (which 75% of Americans approve of), for the Congress to go on vacation. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have not helped but hindered America's ability to function economically as we see the price of oil at record highs and the struggles of the housing market.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  16. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Good Lord, YES. We have a saying here in Texas. "No man's life or property is safe while the Legislature is in session." The same applies to Congress in general and this Congress in particular.

    Pablo In Arlington, Texas

    July 31, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  17. leevaughn brown

    Yeah, right!
    Cinti, Ohio

    July 31, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  18. Bobby Barkanic

    Ha! Does W deserve to be considered one of the best presidents in our nation's history? Instead of our members of Congress taking a month off, sipping margaritas on their beach front properties, they should be working on legislation to address sky high energy prices, soaring food costs, healthcare reform, job creation, predatory lending, pension reform, and all the other issues that are having a crippling effect on our economy. They pass one housing bill and reward themselves with a month long vacation. Note to congress: there's still a lot that needs to get done.–New York, NY

    July 31, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  19. P. Green

    How do they deserve a month's break when they haven't even actually worked a total of a month all year!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  20. JS

    At least they cannot do any harm here then, only in their own state!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  21. James from Chicago

    Congress could take a 12 month vacation and no one would notice.

    They don't accomplish anything when they are in session.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  22. joan ont.ca

    Yes. It is summer Jack, many people have two months off. I wish you wouldn't take so many days off I miss you . Your the best part of the situation room.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  23. Spence in Zap, ND

    I have a more generous proposition Jack. How about this? In light of its mountain of accomplishments, Congress should be given a permanent vacation.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  24. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl.

    As far as I am concerned most of them deserve a permenent vacation without any pay or benefits. Just what is it that they are taking a vacation from anyhow? It surely can't be from all the hard labor that they expend on this country's citizens behalf.
    St. Augustine, Fl

    July 31, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  25. Jason, Koloa, HI

    They can take the rest of the year off for all I care. Does it really matter if they are there are not? Neither side knows the true meaning of bi-partisan. So until one side has a clear majority, or until the Whitehouse and Congress are represented by the same party there is no point in them being there at all. Unless they are going to start punishing the criminals in the current administration and their own ranks, they are just wasting all of our time and money.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  26. Mary - Santee CA

    Vacation, they on going on Vacation? I thought they already were on vacation. That is why nothing in getting done in Congress. We who pay their salaries and their outrageous benefits should fire them all. If they were in the private sector they wouldn't need vacations because they would be on the unemployment line.

    Santee CA

    July 31, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  27. Mark - Asheville, NC

    They are going home to campaign. It is extremely annoying, but it's the way it is. We didn't notice or mind as much years ago, when they were actually getting their work done while on duty. It just seems worse now, and it actually is.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  28. Ryan in Champaign IL

    Most of Congress deserves career-long vacations, in order to get representatives in office that are willing to represent us. As it is, only Big Drilling and Big Capitulating to the President are in control of Congress, and we are left out to dry.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  29. Erin

    As your article is not up yet Jack I can only assume you are being sarcastic here? (no, not you!)

    I'm sure there are certain hard-working individuals that need to have their batteries recharged.

    Still, the lack of accountability and job performance is catatonically depressing only we don't have the time or money to seek the necessary treatment as we must work two jobs to generate the taxes that pay their salaries !

    July 31, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  30. Jenny Rome Ga

    I honeslty thought that they were on vacation.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  31. Kerry

    Only if every American workers gets 1-month of vacation off per year...After we voted them in and we should reap some of the benefits...

    July 31, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  32. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    If this President can take a 2 month vacation less than 9 months into his Presidency than why can't Congress? President Bush has take more vacation for longer periods of time than any other President, especially at a time of war.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  33. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Accomplishments? what accomplishments. All they've done is given Bush everything he's asked for. They don't deserve a vacation. They should be locked up in a 8×10 room until they do something that resembles intelligent lawmaking.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  34. Venia - PA

    I am actually pleased with this congress. Even though they haven't accomplished all they set out to do because of being blocked by the repugs or vetoed by the pres atleast they are trying. Now an entire month, well considering that some have homes elsewhere I don't think it is unreasonable. They are still people too and need to maintain their families.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  35. circy in New Mexico

    Haven't they been on vacation for about 20 years?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  36. Andrew

    The best part of a month long vacation for congress is that it i a whole month where we can be guaranteed that they won't screw anything up.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  37. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    No Jack. After their dismal performance they deserve a permanent vacation. America should vote out every incumbent and start over. I claim dibs on a Hawaiian Senate seat.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  38. Becker Dallas, Texas

    What many accomplishments? I would prefer that when this congress goes home for vacation that it stays there. At least that way they could do no more harm to this country. No member of this congress could find their own ass in the dark with two hands and a flashlight much less make a decission for the future of this country.
    If you look in the dictionary under, " useless" there is a picture of this congress.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  39. Donald, Canton NC


    This session of Congress will have been in session for 229 days as of Sept 7, 2008 when they return.

    From January 22, 2008 they've had 68 days OFF!!!!!

    For the remaining 161 days we've seen nothing but politcal incompentence on behalf of both parties and the so-called 'leadership' from both parties.

    I say send them home permanently!!!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  40. Diane Glasser

    Jack what great accomplishments? Their vacation should be put on hold until they complete all their work.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  41. sarah, indiana

    no jack they deserve a permanent vacation without benefits, severence pay or any of the other perks they vote for themselves. they need to read the constitution and find out what their job description really means. they need to remember that we the people hired them and they answer to us and they had better start doing what we tell them to do or they will be replaced.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  42. BOB in Michigan

    Jack they might as well take amonth off. Even when they are in session they don't accomplish much so why the pretense?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  43. Aaron

    Yes they do. Its hard work being beaten like a redheaded step child by the executive branch.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  44. roger dowdle lockhart, tx

    They have already been on vacation for 7 months this year, in another month it will be time for them to start a 2 month campaign, so they have to hurry to get this vacation in.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  45. Jeff, Galena, MO

    Deserve it? No. However, at least while they're on vacation the lights will be out in the main chamber and we the taxpayers will be saving money on the electric bill. Whether they're there or not the same things get done. Nothing! At least this way we'll save a few bucks.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  46. Bruce

    Unless the Republicans are ready to step up to the plate and impeach Bush and Cheney sure why not? However I will say I was sorta impressed with that bill that's suppose to help the housing crisis.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  47. Don P. Calgary

    might just as well use those rotting tomato's for something good!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  48. Okey Flesher

    Jack, don't be so hard on them. Of course they do. They need time to get back with their Corporate Handlers for further instructions.


    July 31, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  49. Tom in Desoto Texas

    Congress on vacation? I guess than means the population is safe... until they regroup.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  50. George

    You will get many replys to this question. NO, with a capital "HELL NO". How many Americans will not even be able to take any kind of a vacation this year, and they are taking a full month on our dime? This is a slap in the face to every taxpayer in this country, then again they don't do anything when they are in session. Maybe we would just be better without them all together, so when election time comes we all should "none of the above".

    July 31, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  51. Mike out West

    Only if I can get a month long vaction too for half heartedly attempting to do anything resembling work.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  52. Terry from North Carolina

    Your kidding with this question. These turkeys dont deserve any time off, this has to be the worst congress in my lifetime and I am 65 years old. The Nancy and Harry show is playing to very small audience and no one is aplauding.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  53. Beartrack Truckee,CA

    No Jack. They should get all their sick leave, vacation time now. -You know, like when you're fired.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  54. cy gardner

    Let the Republicans take off to consult with their lawyers. The Democrats can stay on the job and try and carry out the will of the majority of the American people. cy gardner arlington va

    July 31, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  55. Esther Marie Cuyahoga Falls OhiO

    No way they deserve Pink Slips and a foreclosure on the house which our forefathers built. let them learn to live like the people they represent. I want the government back to the people and taken away from the stock market.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  56. Stacy from Fairfax, VA

    Americans are disappointed in Congress, myself included. Guess who's fault that is? American's themselves! We keep re-electing the same people over and over . Then when we aren't happy with the job they are doing or how much time they take off we just complain, but do nothing about it. This happens year after year, election after election.

    If you don't like Congress the way it is, you have to change it through your actions, voting and otherwise. Congress won't change on it's own.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  57. Joy

    As long as they're unpaid vacations.I can't get paid vacations that long either.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  58. Yvonne

    To hear the Democratic Majority Party Led Congress talk today ,it would seem that they are so convinced that Senator Obama is going to be the next President, and aparently refuse to do anything to help the American people until Senator Obama aparently officially takes office. If this is the case why are we even having a vote? The Democratic Majority Congress seems to be holding both the American Government and the American people hostages by refusing to do what needs to be done, they would rather vote on cigarrettes and toys. I guess the cigarrettes fill our toy cars to drive to work and schools in.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  59. Tom from Atlanta


    July 31, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  60. kenneth sibbett

    Jack, if the current Congress would work 30 days straight, for one whole month, they could take the rest of the year off.

    Kenneth Chadbourn, N.C.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  61. shellee in tn

    Why not Jack they aren't going to do anything anyway. They dont work while they are at work except pass a couple of bills and drink coffee the rest of the day. Gee talk about job security.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  62. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    This congress, and the preceding three congresses, will go down as the worst eight years of legislative failure in recorded history. Do they deserve a vacatton? Hell, no. Then again they don't deserve to be paid, either. They do deserve to be voted out of office in November, however. It is a damn shame that even if the people wised up and tried to vote them all out that at least 33 senators would remain to perpetuate the doggery.

    Then again, Jack, if we all got what we deserved and nothing else where would we be? Except for Rove, I mean.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  63. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    They deserve a lifelong vacation! Without pay!!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  64. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    Jack, why should Congress get a vacation I sure can not afford a vacation this summer? I need to work as much as possible to be able to cover my bills, gas, and groceries. They are off sun bathing and I am slaving away at work, does not sound fair to me at all. I thought they worked for us apparently they don’t because I have not seen any fruits of their labor including the tax rebate I am still waiting on.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  65. Nancy From Florida

    If the members of Congress were actually accomplishing something while in Washington, a month off to reconnect with their constituents would be very beneficial. However we all know that is a fairy tale.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  66. Will, Maryland

    It's funny how much the American people complain about representatives that they themselves put into power. The fact is that the American people consistently vote against their own interests. The GOP would have you believe that the Democratic Party is keeping us from drilling, but the fact is that it was the GOP that put a stop to the "use or lose it" policy that the Democrats were pushing. Democrats in Congress are now receiving a lot of heat for not voting on off-shore drilling even though we already have so much drilling space already available that isn't being used. The Democrats are taking a recess and keeping this vote off the table because it is in the best interest of the American people. Somehow though, in this backwards world, we see that as a bad thing.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  67. The Bu

    With the economy in shambles and gas prices eating away at everything that I've worked for, Congress needs a vacation as much as I need a hole in my head. Get serious! Why do we pay them these huge salaries (and they seem to give THEMSELVES a raise every year)?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  68. Susan - Thunder Bay, ON

    I don't know about congress – but I have to WORK to earn my vacation!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  69. mitchell ,arkansaw

    they just as well go on home until after the election.nothing can be done until bush and the republicans in congress are thrown out!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  70. Mike Ca

    Why not.
    I think we need some replacements come election time.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  71. Rod from Allentown PA

    With all the hard work they did passing bills that they never read, or voted on, they certainly do deserve a vacation. Is Alcatraz an appropriate site for this vacation?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  72. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    The founding fathers never intended for the position of Congressman to be a career psition. Serve your country, do your patriotic duty then go home. We need strict term limits and an end to lobbying and we need it now!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  73. Ray Kinserlow

    Jack, have you ever been in D.C. in August? I have and it's hotter than heck.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    July 31, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  74. dennis north carolina

    is this your joke for the day, Jack? may be all americans should have the month off with pay,free gas,and meals for all the work we do and the taxes we pay?????

    July 31, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  75. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    In Gittimo being water boarded or San Quenten.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  76. Chad , Los Angeles

    Who set up this pathetic system for our government in Washington?

    I see how lazy we must look to the rest of the world, when officials take months off at a time, and the President probably spends more time at his ranch in Texas than in the White House!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  77. Erico 33139 SoBe

    They deserve a full tour of Iraq vacation. Just pack them all up on an Air Force cargo flight just like they do the troops.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  78. Mary - California

    Congress doesn't deserve anything, much less a vacation.
    How can they walk away doing nothing and knowing that this country needs help. They have the ability to help to settle some of our very serious problems, but they don't. Don't we, as Americans mean anything to Congress?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  79. Will from San Jose, CA

    Of course they need to go on vacation. How else can they get to enjoy that new deck the oil companies built for them, or go on pleasure cruises in yachts purchased for them by defense contractors.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  80. Robin from Colorado

    Mr. Cafferty,

    Unfortunately, we the people who work to make ends meet, are too concerned with survival. On the other hand, The Congress is too busy lying to us to care about what they agreed to do when they took office.

    We as honest tax paying citizens should take a "month off" and see what the government thinks of that!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  81. Ray,Florida

    Sure Jack!
    I say they take off until January!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  82. David of Alexandria VA

    Heck no, Jack!!! we have an energy crisis, a financial crisis, an immigration crisis, social securtity and health care issues - and that's just the stuff their constipation hasn't let them fix in the past 30 years.

    These are the same folks that villified the Iraqi legislature for taking a couple of weeks off before they finished rebuilding their whole damn government.

    Who are these folks, anyway? And who are we for not holding them accountable? Why can't we tackle the tough issues?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  83. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Did you say vacation? I calculated that the average Congressman works about 67 days out of the year, and that is not consecutive days.......If you ask me.........they are always on vacation.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  84. Ron Mechanicsville, VA

    No, nor do they deserve their pay! They should be Impeaching Bush!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  85. Randy, Salt Lake City

    A terminal vacation would be better.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  86. Peter TX

    i hate to tell you Jack but its the truth, you've had more day-offs and vacation in the last couple of weeks than anyone i know, for someone whose job description is to complain three times a day, that is alot of time off from work. you should be the last person throwing stones in this glass house.

    Peter from Dallas, TX

    July 31, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  87. mitchell ,arkansaw

    no.they should stay at work and give me some more of that stimulus stuff.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  88. Terri-Ann, Dallas, TX

    They should not. They should accrue vacation time just like the rest of us based on seniority. The communal vacation concept doesn't exist in the real world. Can you imagine an entire company taking off for a month long vacation? Simply amazing!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  89. Dan, Maryland

    Wow, they have it made, six figure salary, long vacations, I'm going to run for congress!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  90. Desiree

    this morning as i opened up my igoogle my "point to ponder" asked this question.... if con is the opposite of pro, then is congress the opposite of progress!!!!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  91. Kevin

    Jack, as far as I'm concerned, the corrupt people in congress should be on a permanent vacation. All that needs to be done is replace them with a non-corrupt congress man or woman.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  92. Monty Squier

    Yes, and after their vacation, send them out into the fields and orchards, and get them to pick the fruit and vegetables.
    Do some real work.
    On the other hand…
    Stay home-
    Don’t come back!
    The country can use your salaries to pay for building highways, bridges, and schools.

    El Paso, Texas

    July 31, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  93. Paul, Columbia, SC

    Why don't we just outsource THEIR jobs? It's called "payback".

    July 31, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  94. Steven from NJ

    No. All I got when I started working was 2 weeks. Now, I get three, but I had to wait 10 years to get the extra week.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  95. John, Fort Collins, CO

    We might want to consider a constitutional ammendment that would place the congress on permanent vacation. I'd replace them with a body made up of the governors of each state. Since they are the ones facing the day-to-day struggles in real life, as a group they would be much better equipped to effectively handle legislation. The scandal ridden system we have today is broken.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  96. Cindie

    For as much as we pay them each year you would think they would tend to business before even considering a vacation. I really think they abuse the privilege of being able to go on vacation. It has gotten out of hand.

    The economy is in bad shape right now. This is reason enough to cancel vacation. We pay them well enough to get the job done. We should NOT as a Government of people have to stand on edge with worry, of all of the things that could go wrong due to their laziness. Plenty could happen. Our economy could fall flat on it's face, and it's applauding that they think more about themselves, and a convention, than they do about their own United States of America, and it's economy.

    South Georgia

    July 31, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  97. angel in Louisiana

    Sure, about as much as than they deserve those big checks every month and those generous benefits that come with being a Congressman.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  98. Peter Whiteley

    if any voter casts their vote for an incumbent in Congress, then blame yourselves for what you get. What was that line?? stupid is as stupid does

    July 31, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  99. Linda, Ruther Glen, Va

    We need to overhaul our government with new rules. I hope since we the people seemed fine tuned into our political leaders and the not so fine jobs they do that an end will come to the nonsense that goes on. Cut some of their benefits as our country is over it's head in debt. When are we all, including the politians going to see what type of future we are making for ourselves. Heck it's past just our children and grandchildren, we are all in trouble and the country is in trouble. Give me a break Jack, lets rub it in that they get a month off paid, when I've been unemployed since Jan 2nd.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  100. Mikey P

    The only time that Congress & politicians in Washington do anything is the year & months leading to an election. With that said, I think they should take a permanent vacation and not come back. We won't notice they are gone.

    L.A., CA

    July 31, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  101. Nelson, Knoxville Tenn


    No. What they deserve is a compulsory leave orchstrated by the electoral tsunami that sweep every incumbent away come November.

    Nelson, Knoxville, Tenn

    July 31, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  102. Jackson from Rome, GA

    They deserve their month long vacation just as much as they deserve their six-digit salaries.

    Throw the bums out!

    Rome, GA

    July 31, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  103. Linda in Florida

    No and they should only get paid for time worked!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  104. Conor in Chicago

    This vaction stuff is freaking ridiculous. The original reason for the summer recess in Congress was because A) In the 18th Century it took quite some time to get back to ones congressional district given the modes of transportaion B) The heat in the DC area is pretty crazy in August so it seemed like the perfect time to allow a vacation if one must be had.

    We now have airplanes and air conditioning. Get to work Congress, that's why we pay you people!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  105. Sandra fromTexas

    They might as well take vacation, the Republican obstructionists are going to block everything anyway.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  106. JT from TN

    Seems to me they been on vacation the 4 or 5 years...dang maybe i need to run for congress...i do nothing and get paid...plus lietime healthcare...plus months vacation every quarter.......when do they work?

    July 31, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  107. Joe, Clinton Ma.

    No way does Congress deserve a break. They don't earn what they are getting now, and they want a Vacation. We need to vote everyone of these lazy people out.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  108. Bruce Ohio

    Yes a permanent one. Every useless one of them

    July 31, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  109. Jasmine in Germany

    Almost everyone needs and deserves a vacation, but as "public servants" most of the Members have become too comfortable and "deserving". A "change" in Washington will do the country well. Things just take too long and there are too many "party" differences instead of advancing our country.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  110. Mike from Chicago


    I think our spending problems start at home. This is a prime example as we pay our congressmen more than I hope to ever make in a year, and we give them half the year off. They have the schedule of a school teacher, they get paid at least twice as much as the highest paid teacher, and they don't appear to be doing anything. In my mind, what would make the most sense is to pay our lawmakers $50,000 or less a year with the opportunity for a bonus (just like the rest of us). If they don't do their jobs, the tax payers (that's us) can vote on whether or not they get that bonus. With their pay, their time off, their lack of accountability, and the cocktail parties, who wouldn't want to be a congressmen?

    July 31, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  111. Lesley

    It's not like they haven't done anything at all. Didn't Congress vote to relax the new ethics rules concerning lobbyists? Just in time for that certain senator in the news today. That was a very important vote for them I'm sure. They will do whatever it takes to be able to continue business as usual. They certainly can work together when it suits their own interests.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  112. Raymond Duke/Gatesville,Tx.

    They might as well the democrats are doing nothing anyway except whinning about not drilling off of the coast.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  113. Prince Kaywood/ New Orleans

    With the situation our country is in today; they'll need a sabatical.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  114. Chris, Denver

    The obstructionist Republicans could all use a permanent vacation.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  115. Karl in CA

    You mean they actually work? You could have fooled me.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  116. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Congress should take a permanent unpaid vacation.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  117. no way

    for what?
    they haven't done anything
    why dont they get paid for work done ?we could save alot of tax dollars

    July 31, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  118. Jackson

    I think everyone knows the Democrat leadership of Congress has been a failure.

    Everything they claimed the would address has been ignored.

    Now Obama is making the same claims.

    Time to throw all the dems out on their ears!! They had their chance!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  119. Chryssa

    Like the rest of us, congress should have to finish it's work before leaving, or come in on the weekends to get caught up.

    Boise, ID

    July 31, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  120. Cindi Des Moines, IA

    Geez...they just came back from a two-three week vacation around July 4th.
    WIll someone contribute to my campaign to run for office?

    Des Moines IA

    July 31, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  121. TR in TX

    They deserve pay for performance , zero.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  122. Faith, Arkansas

    Doesn't suprise me! They are Democrats, the elite !

    July 31, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  123. jean from orlando

    Congress is just now taking a vacation? WOW – that's news to me. I could have sworn they have been on vacation for the entire year. Guess I just learned something new today huh Jack!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  124. Aaron Goodmiller

    When did they start to work?

    July 31, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  125. Jim in SC

    We need to impose term limits on congressmen and women. We have a huge problem of too many career politicians who care more about their jobs than the needs of their country.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  126. garrick

    Hi Jack
    they dont even deserve to take the weekend off right now,I guess their taking vacation because half of them wont have a job,once this election process is over.if they do take vacation it should be without pay.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  127. Rocky - Michigan

    Vacation, they don't even deserve to be paid a salary. This Congress should be locked in and not let out until they reach some kind of compromise on a energy bill. For once they should quit pandering to the extremists on both sides and do whats best for the Country.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  128. JDC // NE Ohio

    Since Congress has done nothing, what is one more month? Let's just remember in November to kick incumbent ass.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  129. Al, Lawrence KS

    If they turn out the lights before they leave. Then, at least, they will have done something about the energy crisis.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  130. prairieguy

    Get them out of town!!!!...can we make their vacation longer than a month????

    Fargo, ND

    July 31, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  131. Derick, Greenlawn NY

    Doing nothing but whining and complaining is pretty exhausting. Wouldn't you agree, Jack?

    July 31, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  132. Joe Unger (San Francisco)

    Why not?
    People take vacations all the time, whether we think they deserve it or not.
    What do you think...we should have a law saying no one can take vacations unless people think it is deserved? And this would apply to all the American people?

    July 31, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  133. Jo Ann - HOUSTON,Tx

    Heck no I think they have forgotten who they work for. Get the republicians out so some real work can be done.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  134. Vote Nader

    It's not really a vacation. They'll all be back in their districts for much of that time. You people act like they are all going to backpack in Europe until September. How are they supposed to work for us if they never come to their districts?

    I'm sure most of your representatives will be holding town halls or something like that for you to meet with them. Why not take the time to go to one and voice the displeasure you all seem to have so much of.

    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    July 31, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  135. Docb


    They work 3 day weeks–have passed very little in the way needed law and have an approval rating lower than Bush!!!

    Hey, why not take a month off...it is tradition and they need to raise money to get re-elected...

    July 31, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  136. cal

    Are you serious? How can these idiots take a month vacation while the country is in the state its in and there has been no resolve. These are the people that we look to handle our issues in washington, what a joke. In response to your question Jack, Heck NO!!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  137. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    I'd rather them be gone and doing nothing, then sitting in Washington pretending to be doing something.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  138. Derick, Greenlawn NY

    I blame the filibuster for Congress getting nothing done. Have you ever witnessed one? It's really painful. I'll explain just why in a moment, but first listen to these carefully selected passages from Jack Cafferty's book, "It's Getting Ugly Out There"...

    July 31, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  139. Sue -Idaho

    Since Bush has taken more vacation then any President in history oh why not, you cannot get anything done anyway, everything the Dems put forth the GOP blocks, you have to have a majority. So as the old saying goes, "first do no harm".

    July 31, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  140. Jackson, NH

    They deserve a permanent vacation!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  141. Karen - Missouri

    Yes, they've always had vacations...so let them take it. If the greedy Republicans in Congress would quit fillibustering and Bush and McCain weren't so polarizing...Congress would've accomplished a great deal.

    I followed CSpan and CSpan 2....get those Republicans out of there!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  142. Jan/AR

    Every year Congress takes a break (vacation) in August. Congress hasn't had a high approval rating for many years. I think it's good for them to spend some time in their districts and hopefully their phones will be ringing off the hook.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  143. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    Yes...terminal leave is what we called it in the military. After it's over you're retired. One thing that the past couple of years has shown me...no incumbents need return.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  144. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    They have to take a vacation. You can't stay where a place needs to be fumigated.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  145. Jack Blakley Bloomington, MN


    The really do need to get things done. Democrats just don't care about America's future. Plus, their salary should be depend on when they attend -and- vote for a law, etc.

    Jack B.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  146. Val, Atlanta, Ga

    Jack, let me put it to you as simply as possible, and it will only take two Words, HELL NO, seems like they have been on vacation.


    July 31, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  147. Kevin-Seattle

    They have been sleep at the wheel all year, why not go on vacation. They will be getting just as much done on vacation as when there were in session anyway. This economy is hurting and there is noone taking leadership to address these issues.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  148. Dave of Oregon

    What the heck, the economy is going to hell in a hand basket, why not vacate as Bush did during pre- 9/11 days. This actually will help Bush do something other than shilling for Big Oil. Congress can't act if they are not in session. So, Bush can't complain if his issues cannot be met!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  149. Andres

    Whether they deserve one or not, they're going to take one because they want it.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  150. Ben

    They deserve one about as much as Dubya does. I think everyone in both the legislative and executive branches should take a long vacation, and never come back.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  151. Bob S Philadelphia, PA


    NOWAY they need to get something done! That is one of the only jobs in the world where you can do nothing and get paid! If my approval rate at work was 9 % I would be in line with the other 462,000 unemployed. Besides Jack I can't afford to send them on vacation this year I'm paying to much for everything else to pay for their vacation also

    July 31, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  152. Karen, Idaho Falls Idaho

    Please, Jack, let's give them a vacation until the November election. They have done so much harm already we may never recover. And while we are at it, let's give President Bush and Vice President Chaney a permanent vacation. We don't need them either.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  153. Tom from Boston, Mass.

    Sure they do. What makes you think another month would make any difference? They are inept, pure and simple. So let's give them a month off. And force them to put their collective month's salaries into the unemployment fund.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  154. kenneth

    Do they deserve a month long vacation. Hell no! But I guess they need more time with thier special friends. You know Big Business and the Oil companies. They have to get their instructions for the next session, or how else would they know what to vote on.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  155. Ella

    Gee Jack...

    Isn't that the American way of during business?

    I hear a good old cat fight between the two parties is in the works.

    Right jab...left jab. WOW!!!

    Oh, and where does the independents stand on this?

    July 31, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  156. Nuwan Sam

    Nothing happens even when they are working. So going on vacation can not do much harm. Let them have some fun while they can, instead of fighting and not gettting anything done.

    – Nuwan from Houston, TX

    July 31, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  157. John G

    Nope but hey when was the last time Congress did anything that their constituents actually wanted them to do?

    July 31, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  158. gail Centre, Al.

    That's all they have been doing is vacationing, they need to take their vacation time to make up for NOTHING they've done .CONGRESS DON'T GET ME STARTED.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  159. Glenn

    They should be working in August without pay!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  160. Mike Smith, New Orleans, LA

    Of course they should take a month off Jack. That means one month of less damage for all Americans.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  161. Whining Tommy Hussein in St. Louis

    Must be nice...meanwhile, I have to do double shifts just so my wife and I can get by.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  162. bobby

    We need to look at who the incumbents are and vote them out. Each time there is an ineffective congress....replace all of them. Maybe then they would get the idea that they serve their constituents...not themselves.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  163. Bill from Alabama

    Congress deserves a swift kick in the @$$. Vacations should come when the tables have been cleared of all pressing matters.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  164. K Rove, Texas

    They deserve a break. They work hard. The economy's great. The soldiers are all safe and relaxing. The world loves us. Give them a raise also.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  165. Mark Anthony

    An entire month, I would appreciate just 5 paid sick day a year.

    – Las Vegas

    July 31, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  166. Robert

    That's right people, lets get rid of Congress so Bush can run things completely unchecked. I receive about 5 weeks a year in vacation so it's no big deal to me Congress is off for a month. Just because nothing is moving doesn't mean people aren't working.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  167. Wayne

    I'm thinking that the Bush enablers from the Republican party that are currently serving in congress deserve more of a permanent vacation.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  168. Chicago

    This democrat congress has done nothing when they're at work... so what difference does it make.

    Lower than Bush... I didn't even think that was possible. So much for Pelosi's first hundred days speeches... sad, sick and sorry!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  169. Jed in Texas

    As long as they take Bush Bunch with them and dont ever come back,its ok with me Jack.We can start over with a new Congress and keep their feet to the fire.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  170. Roger in the Valley of Virginia

    Jack, whats the big deal if they take a month vacation. They don't accomplish anything when their in Washington.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  171. Denise Groves

    NO! They have been on holiday all year!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  172. lisa

    We have a Congress?

    July 31, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  173. Susan from Ga

    They should all be fired for doing nothing!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  174. Sam in North Carolina

    Congress takes more recesses than most kindergarten classes. Maybe they should learn to play well with others, as well.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  175. tfresh

    Jack, you need a vacation too.. not a long month vacation though.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  176. Craig

    well considering 94% of bills passed by congress do not even get voted on they defiantly deserve a break. a permanent one so we can get some competent people in there.

    Westminster, ma

    July 31, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  177. Greg, NY

    I thought Congress was supposed to be by the people, for the people. I don't get a month off of my job, why should they?

    July 31, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  178. Bill in St. Cloud, FL

    The whole bunch of them need to go on permanent vacation. They are doing absolutely nothing to serve the American people. Send 'em home!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  179. Harry

    Given the current deficits and Congress' proclivity for spending, it would seem that a 1 month vacation is about 10-11 months too short.

    I guess that would mean you and Wolf would have nothing to do, as well.


    July 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  180. Ron from Minnesota

    Congress does not deserve a month vacation. 99.9% of americans don"t get 30 days a year. In November, let's replace them all and give them 2 weeks vacation there 1st year in congress

    July 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  181. david

    Let a member of Congress be a member of the middle class for a day. Each member says; oh my gosh the gas price, the housing crisis, the stock market and whatever else. My prescription: stay in
    office until everything has been voted on. If you don't, may the Lord
    help you!!!


    Tuscaloosa, AL

    July 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  182. Alan - Buxton,Maine

    What Congress deserves is to be run out of town and forbidden to return.
    Perhaps being gone for a month will ensure that they cannot cause more trouble for that long anyway. It will fall to the next Congress to take any corrective action as this one is totally impotent.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  183. Jonathan Morris

    Well jack,
    You make it seem as if the dems havnt tried to get anything done! When in all actualty the dems have tried but failed becouse of the republicans! I say we elect enough dems to overide the fillabuster!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  184. Chad , Los Angeles

    I agree Paul from Columbia, Outsource Their jobs...!! ha ha ha

    July 31, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  185. L.A. Boston


    Yes, let the whole lot of them go visit Senator Stevens home in Alaska and stay there until the American people can vote a whole new crowd in.

    New Representatives who want to work for us the American people to get things (high gas prices, health care, etc.) taken care of.

    Boston, MA

    July 31, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  186. Maureen Mower from Wilkes Barre, PA

    A month? Are they in high school or are they adults who work for a living? I haven't had a month's vacation since I left college. And let's not forget, this is only one of their "breaks" each year.

    What exacty are we paying these folks for?

    In the real world. you are lucky if you get two weeks vacation, and quite often you don't get the weeks you want because it's a busy time for yoru employer and they need you at your desk.

    Well, it's a busy and critical time for America, and we – the "employers" – need Congress at their desks, doing their jobs. If they can't handle that, then they should find themselves on the unemployment line just like I would if I didn't do my job to my employer's satisfaction.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  187. wally Ruehmann las Vegas nv

    the ironworkers working out in 110 temps deserve a month off, the congress and senate deserve pink slips.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  188. Pugas-AZ

    Vacation? That assumes that you have a job that accomplishes something. Do these people get a yearly review where an assessment is made of their contribution to the total wellbeing of the country? Apparently not.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  189. Deb from Lancaster, PA

    Of course not. Nobody deserves a monthlong vacation, except maybe my husband who can't get it because he is on a hamster-wheel just trying to keep his little company (him and 3 employees) afloat in a recession.
    Last I heard, you get a vacation because you have worked hard all year. Congress certainly does not fit the criteria.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  190. Independent

    Can we take a month off of these high gas and grocery bills? How about they pass legislation that makes employers close down for the month of August since it is so hot and give every American our full pay during that time. The world can't function this way and neither should congress. Both dem and rep are to blame. They always blame each other and won't take any responsibility to get anything done for this country. It's time to take accountability for yourself and those who you represent. Get to work and fix this mess!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  191. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    The way I understand it Jack very few bills going to Congress even get read , let alone debated. So if they are not doing what they are sent there for, what are they getting a vacation from? Raising funds for their next election talking to special interest groups and lobbyists, sure isn't work.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  192. Deb (Bow, NH)

    Vacation from what? Most working people have to actually show some results or they don't have to worry about taking a vacation because they don't have a job.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  193. Greg form Mechanicsburg PA

    No, but they will take it anyway. With any luck at least some of them won't come back. Nancy Pelosi springs to mind. She's the one who refuses to do any thing substantive to bring Bush and his administration to justice or curb his abuses of power.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  194. Lesley

    Deserve a vacation? Doesn't matter. They will take a break. Nothing would get done if they stayed. Nothing will change until after the November election. Can't say that I blame either side. That is just the way it has been for sometime Jack.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  195. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Not until I get one - and the pigs ain't flying around Eugene yet.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  196. Dave from Maryland

    I don't know if they deserve a month long vacation, but they are going to take one anyway. Now if you want to ask if they deserve our vote, that's another story!

    July 31, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  197. MAC from UC Berkeley

    What we need as a nation is a permanent vacation from this current Congress. What ever happened to the idea of Representatives and Senators being servants of the people for the people? From the look of things, we have a Congress that only cares about its own political survival. Forget President Bush: the real threat to our country is a Democratic do-nothing Congress.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  198. 40+ In Suitland, MD

    For What?

    July 31, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  199. Linda Richards

    At least they can't make anything worse. I think they should come back after New Year's. Linda in Woodbury

    July 31, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  200. Montana is Obama Country

    Jack, while congress is on vacation, I think I will go sit in the corner and have a "Mental Reccession" and try not Whine..

    July 31, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  201. S D Howard


    July 31, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  202. Daniel Snider Ironton, MO

    The problem isn't the one-month vacation when they're not working. It's the rest of the year when they're not working.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  203. Ted Beaverton, OR

    How does the common ordinary voter and billpayer of all of Congress money-spending get rid of the Nancy and Harry show? Writing to these clowns has zero effect, and too darn many fools, continue to vote for the incumbents who are responsible for every trouble we face. Most of these child minded crumbs need a permanent vacation.


    July 31, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  204. Rick/Marysville, WA

    Dang, I need to get elected to Congress! 3 day work weeks, monthlong vacations, and the best health care in the world!

    July 31, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  205. David from Miami

    I remember when Pres. Clinton wrote his last book, about how difficult it is for any member of Congress to work. How will they spend their vacation? They will spend it fundraising, campaigning, and working. The only vacation, is from the actual legislative session. I would sympathize with all Congressmen, whether Republican or Democrat, that the job is not easy, time spent with family is rare, and that criticism from the media and the public are often too harsh. Why are we expecting every politician to be a superhero?

    July 31, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  206. Enough Already!!

    No, they do not deserve a month long vacation. The rest of the nation has to work twice as hard, many of us cashing in our vacation, just to make ends meet. Where do they get off?

    July 31, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  207. Cynthia

    Heck, if President Bush can take a vacation, even if it is only one day, surely the Congress should have one.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  208. Cal

    "HI" Jack,

    Heck! I thought they are on vacation l2 months a year!!!!!!!!!

    And our hard-earned money is going to these do-nothing talking
    heads!! All talk and no substance!! What a total waste!!

    July 31, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  209. Robert from Des Moines, IA

    Jack, I'm from Iowa and cheers to Mr. Grassley for stating the obvious. We put the democrats back into power to deal with our dictator who feels he is above the law and the other branches of our government.

    The Democratic Congress has done nothing but fix the DNC nomination for Obama. The whole lot of them should be fired. We hired them, gave them a job to do, and they have chose to ignore the wishes of the American people. Bush should have been impeached immediately after the elections.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  210. Shrujal in Crescent City, CA

    What do you mean, Jack? They've been on vacation for nearly the last three years.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  211. Fred

    They deserve to all be fired. What is amazing to me is that the american public is apparently fixing to elect more democrats even though they currently are in the majority of a congress with such low approval ratings and even though most of the public wants us to drill for our own oil and democrats are stopping us from doing so.
    It can only be the republicans abysmal failure to keep their promises in the past and their inability to find anyone to elequently point out the differences between them and democrats that would allow the democrats this opportunity. Guess they will get what they deserve but then we will get hosed.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  212. St. Louis

    The Dems need to be out campaigning so we can win the White House. They don't need a vacation; they need to help Obama in a big way.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  213. Angela from Troy, MI

    I think it's ridiculous that Congress is taking a vacation. If they actually had accomplished something, it would be different. I am a Republican and even I have to say that I am disguested with how the Republicans in Congress are putting their own needs to drill for oil and make more money before the well-being of our nation. I know one thing is for sure, I am definitly voting for Barack Obama come Novemeber, the last thing we need is another Geoge W. Bush who only cares about keeping the oil money coming in.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  214. Jerry in Boston

    They may not deserve it, but at least when they're on vacation they can't do any more harm.

    How about an indefinite leave of absence?

    July 31, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  215. G-Ma from Lake View, SC

    The problem is that the taxpayers are often footing the bill for these free-loaders to take these trips to expensive resorts-sometimes in foreign countries-taking along guests at taxpayers expense. It's a rip-off that should result in prosecution.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  216. Debbie

    Congress does not deserve a month long vacation. Most American's work more than 40 hours to make ends meet. Some have 2 jobs. Most families have both husband and wife working. Congress needs to work for the people and stop worring about their cozy jobs.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  217. Tim in Syracuse


    They've been on vacation at our expense for the majority of this session. I think they should get to work and start dealing with the issues that are facing the American People. Good thing there is an election coming up.....I have a message for my Elected Officials....get to work or get fired!

    Syracuse, NY

    July 31, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  218. Stuart in Denver

    Look the bottom line is Congress is clearly not living up to the expectations that the American people have put upon them. This is a time in which the political climate is turbulent and instead of doing what good leaders do in troubled times, devising solutions to our problems, they would rather take a break and worry about it later.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  219. Jake

    When kids don't do their job at school they are told to attend summer school. Congress does not do its job and they get a vacation??

    July 31, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  220. Charly

    Hell yes they need this month off so they can get some real work done . . . on their next job as lobbyist.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  221. Jacqueline Callan

    Deserve a vacatiion? Vacations are for people who WORK and usually accomplish something! A MONTH'S VACATION? How did THAT ever get enacted? Hmmmmm, I wonder.......

    Jacqueline Callan
    Tarzana, CA

    July 31, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  222. anavlas

    Does Congress deserve a month-long vacation? Don't we all?

    A change that we really should explore with Congress is to have the members of Congress work for whatever the prevailing minimum wage is.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  223. Michael Shea

    I won't support a month off for congressmen getting a month vacation till they pass legislation mandating public campaign financing so they no longer feed out of the corporate trough.

    Once that is done they can take the month of October off before a general election.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  224. Pietro from NYC

    They deserve the month of August off, free health care for life, a super-sized pension, unbelievable perks...oh, I have to stop writing now as I am getting very nauseated and have to vomit!

    July 31, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  225. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    I think Congress needs to be brought up on charges of fraud. They're more worthless than slugs. Sorry slugs.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  226. Seth J, formerly from Detroit, MI

    It's the staff that does all the real work on Capitol Hill. Give them all a vacation, instead of having to work "only" 9-5 during recess, and make the Members stay in Washington until they work out all the issues themselves! Incidentally, this vacation is not really a vacation – it's officially called the "Summer District Work Period", and it's when the Members do their fundraising – and still collect a paycheck!

    July 31, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  227. Justin

    Unlike Pres. Bush, who spends his vacations clearing brush. Most members of congress spend time out of session in their home distrects, meeting the people they represent, trying to deal with their issues, and keeping in touch with the place they represent.

    This is not to say that they should not be spending more time voting, but that it is not just a matter of taking time off.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  228. Trysh

    No. A lot of people work hard and actually get stuff accomplished, but do they get a paid month of vacation. Not in this country!

    July 31, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  229. Bobby Goff

    I think they should stay in session and do the job they were elected to do. We the people can recall every one of them and start over.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  230. Elizabeth McManus

    Hi Jack, Congress doesn't do anything when they are in session, so what difference does it make if they go on vacation. They have been useless as mammary glands on a bull, neither functional nor ornamental!

    July 31, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  231. Spenser

    Are you kidding me? This problem needs to be resolved now! The only time they would even think about not going on vacation is if this problem was effecting their families. Its obvious that congress does not care about this country and its future.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  232. Michael Lassig

    The premise for your question is problematic . . .

    The definition of work is to "put forth mental effort in order to produce or accomplish something". In turn, vacation is a respite or suspension of work. Understand the problem?

    July 31, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  233. Mike Murphy

    Congress not only does not deserve a vacation, they don't even deserve our votes. But then, the american people get what they deserve. They voted all these idiots in. I think now is the time to vote them all out. Local,state and federal. If we don't vote for incumbents for about 20 years, we stand a good chance of getting better people to run. Imagine, a group of people who listen to their voters.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  234. Blaze in Chugwater, WY

    Congress wants a month-long vacation? Who do they think they are...Jack Cafferty?

    July 31, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  235. robert zwalve

    They do not need or deserve vacation. They haven't done anything yet.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  236. Mary

    Vacation! Come on Jack, they don't even deserve a paycheck.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  237. Ken A Madison WI

    You may recall this news from last summer:

    BAGHDAD, July 30 (Reuters) – Iraq's parliament adjourned for its summer recess on Monday, taking a break until September despite having failed to enact a series of laws demanded by Washington.

    Parliamentary speaker Mahmoud Mashhadani said in a statement issued after Monday's session that he had dismissed lawmakers until Sept. 4.

    "Parliament has decided to break until early September," Hussein Falluji of the mainly Sunni Accordance Front bloc in parliament told Reuters.

    "We have already cut the holiday by one month. It is our constitutional right to take it."
    Our honorable Comgress is no better than the Iraqi parliament that they so comdemed last summer. Perhaps they should give back their salaries for ineffectiveness. Yes, we know the Administration has screwed up many things but our beloved Congress is also not worth the leather chairs they sit upon.
    I call upon them to continue to work until they get it right, an energy package that includes drilling, alternatives and conservation. Come on Harry and Nancy, get over it . Get to work Team!
    Have a great day there and keep smiling, we will get over this no matter how poor they perform.

    Cheers ,
    Ken A.
    Madison Wisconsin

    July 31, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  238. Robert from Des Moines, IA

    Hey Jack,

    A related topic could be: "Should Congress have Impeached Bush?". I think you'd find overwhelming support for this. Another issue Pelosi has refused to address.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  239. Chris - Rockord, IL

    The better question would be; do the members of Congress feel they have finished their work and have earned a vacation?

    I don't know of too many stockholders that would be pleased with the body of work that has come from this "board." Aren't we the stockholders after-all?

    July 31, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  240. Samuel

    No jack they do not deserve the vacation they need to be working on more important things like gas prices and the economy. I am a nine year old and have to go to public school instead of private school this year because my parents cannot afford it anymore. P.S my mom just loves you jack.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  241. RanDe from CA

    No, But it will be good experience for the long vacation they get in November

    July 31, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  242. Doug Texas

    Are they all going on vacation!!!?

    Well hot diggity, lets change the locks while their gone, and keep them locked out, until we vote them out of office in November!

    July 31, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  243. MaryBeth, Chicago IL

    The only people I know who take month long vacations are Europeans. I don't know any average hard-working American who can afford to take a 5 week vacation. Most of my "vacations" have consisted of 2 consecutive days off (a once in a blue moon occurence)!!! These people need to remember why they're in Congress and start working for US, the people who put them there!

    July 31, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  244. Ed North Carolina

    Sure, and why don't we pick up the tab for some neat vacation trips too?

    July 31, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  245. Diaby

    Why not. it is summer, they should go to beach while american people are suffering.

    S. Diaby from New jersey

    July 31, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  246. Bobby

    Congress deserves a 5 week vacation like Bush deserves a third term. I believe we have the most ineffective congress in history and that starts with the failed leadership of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Every issue is being looked at as a way for politicians to build up their political pride. Even barely acceptable legislation is better than no legislation. Example, illegal immigration.

    Hilton Head Island,
    South Carolina

    July 31, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  247. Mildred Carter

    They should not leave before they vote on the oil bill.

    -Indianapolis, IN

    July 31, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  248. kay morris

    kay in Illinois

    July 31, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  249. Lyndsey

    The hell with what Congress deserves.....we the people deserve a new Congress!

    July 31, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  250. leon stokes maryland

    Congresss need a break too.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  251. Cliff Dick

    They might as well

    July 31, 2008 at 5:30 pm |

    yes they should take a vacation, they've earned it just getting up every morning and going in to work, even though they've not got much done. it took me thirty years on on the job to get 4 weeks vacation and boy do we work. drilling in anwar would have already happened years ago if sen mc cain was'nt agains the oil being sold to americans. but to be exported. carolyn,ca.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  253. Joe

    This congress deserves nothing but more hours and less pay!!! Vacation??? Are those people who lost their job over the past few years on vacation??? I think not. These people are working hard to find a new job and Congress is taking a vacation because they can. What a joke.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  254. Sean from Hamden, CT

    No. They don't.

    The fact is, if an average person was 7 years behind in their work, they would not be allowed to take a vacation. They'd be fired.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  255. Victor Estrada

    Who De-regulate the controls on depredator lending Industry? wheren't they Republicans? who cut taxes on big corporations? who is making recordas profit on Oil? who are buying on CASH the repo-houses lately?.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  256. Chris from Orlando

    I dunno Jack, let's ask Brittany Spears or Paris Hilton

    July 31, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  257. Diaby

    They don't care about american people's suffering. That's why they are going on vacation.

    S. Diaby from New jersey

    July 31, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  258. Ron Barnett

    Yes let them go on vacation, then we can replace them when there away.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  259. Dave

    A bill should be passed stating that Congress is exempt from any and all vacation during a time of war. Our soldiers are fighting in great heat and mental strain based on failed policies and no exit strategy, and it is truly appalling to think that our elected officials get a break. They don't deserve weekends off, let alone five weeks.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  260. Jason

    Why not! Its not like they do anything anyway when they are on the clock. Congress has been on vacation for the past 8 years. It is about time they make it official.

    West St. Paul, MN

    July 31, 2008 at 5:48 pm |