Why would Congress take a five-week vacation with all the problems facing the country?
August 6th, 2012
03:59 PM ET

Why would Congress take a five-week vacation with all the problems facing the country?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Congress is on a five-week vacation. They work so hard. The fact is Congress has accomplished next to nothing, but they think they deserve a five-week break.

Millions of Americans are unemployed, and the average American worker only gets 13 paid days off the whole year. But these clowns think they deserve yet another vacation. It's disgraceful.

Meanwhile, the country's problems, which they left behind in Washington, are serious and many:

  • Our runaway national debt is nearing $16 trillion.
  • They've done nothing about the automatic spending cuts, including hundreds of billions of dollars to the Defense Department, set to kick in early next year.
  • The Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of this year. The payroll tax cut is set to expire, and estate taxes will rise dramatically as will capital gains taxes.

It's called the "fiscal cliff" for a reason. Unaddressed, these changes will be painful and dramatic. Congress has done nothing. This list still goes on:

  • They've also failed to address the issues of food stamps and farm subsidies as American farmers grapple with the worst drought in decades.
  • Also still on the table are must-pass spending bills to keep the government running, a cybersecurity bill and the post office bill, as the U.S. Postal Service faces default.

This Congress is one of the least productive in recent history - and you can thank a toxic, hyperpartisan atmosphere plus election year politicking

It's unlikely any of these things will be addressed until after the election is over. The American people deserve better than this, but we won't get it if we keep vote these same people into office.

On November 6, think "out-cumbent."

Here’s my question to you: Why would Congress take a five-week vacation with all the problems facing the country?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Bonnie in New Jersey:
What difference does it make? They're on vacation when they are at work. Can we do like the sports team owners and do a "lockout" when they come back?

Because we as Americans let them, by voting them back in over and over and over again.

Susan in Ohio:
Maybe they just need a break from their gruesome 3-day work week - the pressures of the job and all. What a joke they are. But the polls show not too many of us are laughing.

Kevin in California:
Because they are back meeting their constituents and updating them on all the things Congress has accomplished ... yeah, yeah, that's the ticket.

Debbie on Facebook:
We need to fire them all. Who else gets to go on vacation with work left incomplete? The rest of us would be fired on the spot.

David in Springfield, Missouri:
Because the Congress could care less about the American people. It’s all about “me, me, me” and using the hard-working people's money to fund the good ole' boy system in waste beyond human imagination. How do you think a person making $169,000 a year becomes a multi multi millionaire X 10?

Ron in Palm Beach, Florida:
They read the schedule, they haven't been worried about the country in three in a half years.

Bob in Ohio:
They deserve a vacation. It’s got to be exhausting work naming post offices session after session with no end in sight.

Posted by
Filed under: Congress
soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. Charles, Lansing, Michigan

    Their political future is more important to them than the future of the country.

    August 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  2. Mel - Houston

    To answer your question directly because they can. Look they haven't done anything for the first seven months and likely not do anything before the Presidential election. Twiddling your thumbs get tiring for such a long period, you need a vacation.

    August 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  3. Pete in Florida

    Why Jack, it's obviously Obama's fault – just like everything else you find wrong with America. It's OBAMA!!!!! Plus, since the Repubs have refused to work with Obama and the Dems on vitually anything for the past 3-1/2 years, and won't do anything productive now, they might as well go on vacation. After doing nothing but exacerbating (look it up, Repubs) our nation's problems for the past 3 years, GOP polticians are heading home for 5 weeks to lie tol their constituents about what a wonderful job they're been doing. Hold on to your new health care bennies, folks – they'll disappear as soon as mitt and the gop clown car takes over DC.

    August 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  4. wayne, va beach, va

    Because Jack, there is absolutely no leadership in Washington DC, and that is from the president on down. Reid needs to go back to back to NV and talk to his pomegranate trees and Pelosi needs to go back to SF and read the health care bill and stay there. The speaker needs to go back to Ohio and tend bar. obama need to just go back.

    August 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  5. Ron Siegel

    Since they are not doing anything but wasting time at least we save money by turning the lights off.

    August 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  6. Greg in Arkansas

    Congress NEEDS to take a five week vacation in order to fulfill their promise from the last election......remember......JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.....silly voters thought they meant jobs for the unemployed.....BUT......congress is really only concerned about the 435 or so jobs up for grabs in November...

    August 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  7. Peg in NY

    Because they can. Arrogance at it's best.

    August 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  8. manning

    We should have pink waiting slip's waiting for them when return. If they wants to do their duty then put on a 4 month provision at end of the probation time if their was no performance they would be fired.

    August 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  9. Brian in Las Vegas

    The only purpose congress has once its elected is to get re-elected. They're all home stumping for that re-election. My rep though won't meet with anyone who is not in his party, even though his margin of election was only 1100 votes

    August 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  10. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    To frantically raise money so they can convince their voters that they have actually accomplished something. The need for an August recess is based on faulty climatology. August in DC is actually much more pleasant than July. If they were smart, they would leave town a month earlier and be back already. Its not like they did much last month. Of course, the water in the Atlantic is actually quite nice this time of year (and is colder in August), so maybe this is a good time for them (and staff) to get away. If you really want to do things this month, go to Delaware.

    August 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  11. Pete in Georgia

    Jack, do you even have to ask this question ?? Really ??
    Since when has ANY branch of the Federal Government cared about anything but getting re-elected ??
    Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower have been gone a long, long time.
    You know the media is a good part of the blame here.
    When's the last time any so called "journalist" or "reporter" asked ANY serious "hard ball" questions to the president ??
    The media is twice as biased as the average "Joe Voter".
    The politicians in Washington belong to the same annointed fraternity.
    And the gullible citizens keep doing..................and doing, the same as they always have and will.

    August 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  12. Richard Texas

    Jack America is much safer and financially better off with congress on vacation. Personally I think now that America is on life support economically that the elected politicians should have to take a Hippocratic oath to do no more harm.

    August 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  13. Annie, Atlanta

    I don't know, but it's time we decide what they get paid, not them. And since so many are against health care benefits and pension, they should lose those too. They're just ordinary people and they're not doing their jobs. When are we going to talk treason, or at least sedition, with this lying cheating group of temper tantrum throwing idiots. Enough already.

    August 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  14. SideTrek

    They had to go home to gin up their support for re-election by doing favors for big spenders in their districts. So they can get back to Washington to hobnob and get nothing done.

    August 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  15. cindy from sarasota fla

    Well Jack it's boring doing nothing. I'm mean have you ever had a job where you had to act like your doing something to look busy well they have mastered it. I think they are bored, tired poor fellas. Maybe if by a small chance they got out of there tiny bubble and just had a glimpse of the real world they might do something, heck at this point even wrong might be a step. Just a thought

    August 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  16. Kevin in CA

    Hhmmmm – because they are all rich?

    August 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  17. Dave, Kissimmee, FL

    Don’t you know? It is because they are a PAC of self-centered thugs who got into office on lies and promises they had no intention of keeping for the sole purpose of lining their own pockets while screwing the rest of us, the wealthy and big business excepted.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm |

    If you were them wouldn't you run and Hide?

    August 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  19. Matt

    Because they can and we keep sending them back term after term.


    August 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  20. jk in MN

    Because the Republican Majority in the House doesn't want to pass any legislation that would move the country forward. I imagine the yellow bellies won't schedule any voter meeting either. I Have a couple of questions on votes my own representative took this past month and he's not even one of the wingnuts.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  21. calaurore9

    Their research trips abroad aka boondoggles are non-refundable?

    August 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  22. JM South Dakota

    Congress has lost the reasoning and live in a make-believe world, the wealthy above us little people world. They love their job because of the money they can make and take money from unscrupulous lobbyist because they only care about keeping their job. Years ago, congress actually cared about the country and the people.. Lets see, I believe it was in the late 1700s or early 1800s?? My mind gets foggy these days.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  23. Paul Austin Texas

    They have to check on their off shore accounts. None of them really care for the people they represent.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  24. Duane North Dakota

    Suck it up Jack, as long as big business is filling congressional pockets, who cares about the problems the country is facing? Yet this seems to surprise you.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  25. John

    Because they don't consider them their problems. Face it,wether they're there or not, same outcome.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  26. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    So they won't have to say no to the President for five weeks. They may figure their behavior is starting to wear thin on the American public, and want to give it a rest.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  27. Gary H. Boyd

    Whadaya mean 5 weeks Jack? It's more like 5 months. They haven't accomplished a damn thing this year except to take pot shots at one another while the country's going to hell in a hand basket. Them taking 5 weeks vacation is like sending the fire department home from an inferno. Absolutely absurd.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    August 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  28. THEO

    Two Reasons Jack;
    1.Congress sets their own work schedule,which happens to be half of what hard working AMERICANS WORK, and they can only change it. They aint stupid just lazy.
    2 Congress wants Obama out so they will do anything and everthing to srew the USA. Of course they are the first ones to WAIVE THE FLAG.


    August 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  29. Name*hank

    when will the blind haters wake up to the fact that these people do not care about jobs,they have been crying jobs since and before the last election,they won how many jobs have they created,how many public serve jobs has been lost?

    August 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  30. Dr. George Italy

    The U.S. Congress is allready in a state of mass confusion. The few neurons in their brains are highly depleted of all neurotransmitters and are so dysfunctional they can't make the simplest of associations. But their is hope! Italian neuroscientists had discovered that nerve cells do regenerate, albeit very slowly. Well , Look America, Better Late than Never!

    August 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  31. Patsy, TX

    Jack, i'm sure you have seen Cantor's House Calendar for 2012. Not only are they taking five weeks off now, they
    will "work" only 10-20 days the rest of the year. Cantor calls this "constituent work week". I call it ripping off the
    very Government they want to downsize. This burns me like nothing else. Why are they taking this time off?
    Because they are greedy, incompetent, non-caring, bought and paid for puppets, and Cantor tops the list with
    No Backbone Boehner running a close second.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  32. James - Alexandria, VA

    The question should actually be why would Congress take a 52 week vacation with all of the problems facing the country Jack.......and you already know the answer.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  33. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    Put it on the front page of every newspaper and headline it on all the news programs I guarantee they'll be back in session the next day.

    Oh wait. They control the news.


    August 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  34. Doug Ericson

    It takes time for the crooks to sort out several suitcases, ( each), full of cash. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  35. Boomer in Mo

    They are afraid of malaria. That is the original reason those who could left D.C. in August. Congress is so behind the times they have not figured out malaria is rarely fatal in modern times because of medical advances.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  36. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Perhaps those in Congress have taken the Hippocratic Oath, first do no harm. Then again, perhaps they are taking their well earned political contributions and go on vacation...and hopefully not come back.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  37. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    Why would they?

    They don't care. Duh. Now lets ask ourselves SHOULD they take vacation? ABSOLUTELY! We vote these guys/gals in time and time again and complain when they don't fix our problems. Then we vote them into office again!!!

    Can you give me a single reason why they wouldn't take a vacation??

    Try asking the CEO of a failing company to not take his/her contracted bonus. Good luck.

    Now we have an ex-CEO of a firm specializing in bankruptcy and outsourcing running for President. How STUPID are all of you?!?!

    August 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  38. David, Tampa

    It's Party Time, Jack. Five weeks to whoop it up at the conventions. I hope some of the press is stationed outside Tampa strip clubs, can't say anything about where ever the Democrats are having there's. Participants will be talking up the party platforms and making plans about what to do with all the money they be getting if their party gains control of congress and the executive. They will be discussing all kinds of things and somewhere way down at the bottom of the list, Do something constructive for the American People.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  39. Kevin in CA

    Because they are back meeting their constituents and updating them on all the things Congress has accomplished ... yah ... yah, that's the ticket.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  40. EdfromMD

    Don't worry Jack, the problems will still be there when they get back.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  41. Mark from New Jersey

    Most of them need to go back and confer with their constituents about their latest attempts to subjugate and/or enslave women rather than do anything about rebuilding the country's infrastructure, or protect and defend their constituents health and welfare or that of the country. They also need time at home and on the road to grovel, and beg for money in aid of selling their votes to the highest bidder, so they can stay in power to do more of both.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  42. YaYa from cumberland, Maryland

    Jack congress left because they are selfish and it's all about keeping FACE.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  43. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack,I can hardly wait to repeat my post from a year ago.The answer is:Because the congress could care less about the American people.Its all about ME ME ME and using the hard working people's money to fund the good ole boy system in waste beyond human imagination.How do you think a person making 169,000 a year becomes a multi multi millionaire X 10.That may be a harsh answer Jack but that is exactly what is happening right before our eyes.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  44. Mr. D

    How can they take a vacation when they have been on one for years? Oh, that's right, they have to campaign for another term of do nothing politics. Let's say we keep them all on permanent vacation.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  45. susan in Ohio

    Maybe they just need a break from their gruesome 3-day work week; the pressures of the job, and all. What a joke they are.
    But the poles show, not too many of us are laughing.


    August 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  46. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    It's a Do-nothing Congress. They won't do any less on break than when they are not on break. The only way for government to function again is for voters to get rid of the Republicans filibustering and blocking the president's jobs bill, etc..

    August 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  47. Dave Laguna Niguel, CA

    Because they have named all the Post Offices

    August 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  48. Deb in MT

    I don't know about the Dems, Jack, but the GOPers have to be exhausted from all their obstructionism! It's such hard work figuring new ways to screw the economy and the American people, all the while posing as defenders of the middle class (the poor GOP dears deserve a break, bless their widdle hearts).

    Too bad they have to come back.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  49. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    I'm sure it's becaue they work so hard during a session that they need a break from the rigors of Washington. These people should be ashmed of themselves but in order to have any guilt one has to have a conscience. I vote we fire all of them in November.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  50. Ed from California

    You'd better ask that question to John Boehner. He "runs" congress and America (into the dirt). Perhaps has some golf lessons, or some tanning sessions, or he has to sweep up the bar, or socialize with the Lobbyists. Or, maybe he's out there creating 30 million jobs for all of us. After all wasn't that what he and the teapots ran on...."Where are the jobs"??. Johnny, "Where are the jobs"??? Seriously Jack.....these Hoopleheads in Congress don't worry about America....they worry about airtime on FOX"News", Rupert Murdock, the 1%, and the Koch brothers.The Middle class....well were just an inconvenience. It's better to have two class, the rich and the poor.....less paperwork....and headaches.

    August 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  51. bonnie from NJ

    What difference does it make, they're on vacation when they are at work. Can we do like the sports team owners do and do a "lockout" when they come back?

    August 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  52. Kevin in CA

    Because they need to gland hand for more re-election money so they can maintain the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. Besides, us "little people" will be working to hard to notice anyway.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  53. Nate NC

    uh... Duh Jack, They have to check on their offshore accounts and property for when "IT hits the fan". It is obvious that politicians are not trying to make friends with the American people. Instead, they are solidifying their "get out of jail" posture with Health Care "Taxation" and other misappropriated funds.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  54. Jim in Denver, CO

    Because 'working' is only for the common people of this country. The 'Job Creators' don't need to work as hard as the rest of us. The whole of congress needs to be fired for lack of job performance.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

    tampa, fl considering most of our problems are being caused by Congress, consider it a vacation for us taxpayers that the nitwits in office are not screwing with us for 5 weeks.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  56. Gigi Oregon

    Because they seem to think they can get away with it. The republican and tea party have the whole government and country polarized trying to make President Obama a one term president. We should all send an Email stating "Your Fired". I'm one conservative that is going to vote against them.

    If I have to show my finances to live in this country, it's time Mitt Romney, the Mormon Church and their members show theirs. Remember, it's because they think they can get away with it...Can they?

    August 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  57. Karl in Flint, MI

    Why wouldn't they? For at least the past two years, or more, the countries problems haven't been congresses problems. At least not the GOP's problems. Their main problems are getting President Obama out of the White House and getting more obstructionist elected and themselves re-elected. The Dems aren't much better, but I think if there was any chance of getting legislation passed to help the country, they would still be there. They can't work alone and the GOP won't work with anyone.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  58. JD in NH

    The majority of the members of Congress are in it for the money. It's not a bad gig. $174,000 a year with solid gold benefits, free travel, great working conditions and the guarantee of even more money after you leave. They don't seem to think much about the country or the citizens so it's no surprise they've flown the coop.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  59. 1grasshopper

    To show how worthless they actually are and how superior they think they are.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  60. Ron G from Palm Beach

    They read the schedule , they haven't been worried about the country in three in ahalf years.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  61. Ed from Texas

    Because it's not about the country, Jack. It's about them and their party.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  62. Laura

    Because we as Americans let them, by voting them back in over and over and over again.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  63. Frances

    Because it is now the tea party Congress. They don't care what happens to the middle class. They hate Government which makes it odd that they want to be in the place they hate, unless it's is just too take the big salary and all the great benefits. Most of them don't understand how Government works or how the economy works. Mostly control is what they want, that is why they have pledged to make President Obama a "One term President." After reading the book 'Lyndon Johnson Master of the Senate' I understand why they call this the second 'Do nothing Congress'...Do nothing and good for nothing. If they cared about the Country and their job they would stay in Washington and do their job.

    Frances, Escondido, CA

    August 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  64. Kelly Garrison

    Let's give them a permanent vacation. Without pay of course.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  65. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Their August vacation departure is just yet another confirmation that Congress cares more about their own re-elections and careers than they do every day Americans. The voters should make it convenient for them to be away from Washington on extended vacations.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  66. Jerome, Burlingame CA

    It's simple really. The people have nothing in place to protect us from their laziness and apathy. They argue about health care and get federal health care, they argue about taxes while keeping money in offshore accounts and receiving billions from special interest. They talk about jobs and they can't do theirs but unlike us, they can't get fired on the spot so why would they do anything?

    August 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  67. Wilhelm in Las Vegas

    they took a 5 week "vacation" because they CAN, Jack. unfortunately three quarters of these so called "congressmen" and women, both Republican AND Democrate, are in "safe seats" and have NO chance of losing an election in their "gerrymandered" districts SO they can do whatever they want without ANY consequence.

    the obvious "fix" to the problem is re-drawning districts to make them competetive or, even better, TERM LIMITS but THAT is never going to happen.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  68. Michael

    Plain and simple Jack. Our Congress SUCKS !!!!!!!!

    Michael Largo Florida

    August 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  69. Disgusted Pat

    Because the problems do not affect their personal lives negatively. For examples: They have better than most healthcare coverage at little cost. They are not facing tax increases when the Bush tax cuts expire. With the government pensions they will get, they aren't worried about the future of Medicare and Social Security. Their main focus is to get home and campaign for themselves and their colleagues to win reelection so they can go back and continue to do nothing as they have for the past 3.5 years.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  70. debra ray

    they might deserve a one (1) week vacation but that should be only to enroll their kids in school!!!They sure have done nothing to deserve that many weeks. What about the men and women that are in other countries trying to protect our country, they come home from active duty to what!!!! NOTHING they are never recognized for what they did and mose of the VA hospitals are shutting down and they can't even get the help they need. Congress and their vacations are a joke!!!!!!!

    August 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  71. Janne from NC

    Because our problems are not their problems.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  72. Norm from Ohio

    The house has been on break since the teaparty took over so it really don't make much difference if the are in session or not.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  73. Jeff In Bishop, Georgia

    Mr. Cafferty, it is my wish that the legislative branch would take a 52 week vacation.... and they can take the whole executive branch with 'em, too.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  74. thom richer

    Because that is what they have always done and will always do because we, the people, allow them to. Congress no longer is representing the working people of America. They haven't for some time. Their real "constituents" are: number one, themselves; number two, Corporate America and Wall Street; number three, the wealthy one percent. Until they have to work as the common man and woman, live from day to day on a meager salary, pay for their own health and retirement benefits, send their kids off to war, pay their own tuition for their children, borrow money to achieve their needs and economic desires, work 40 years for little or no retirement pension, be held accountable for their actions, put in 40 plus wok hours each day of the week eleven months of the year, put their own gas into their own cars, and pay their fair share of taxes as the working class does, they will not truly understand enough to do their duty and represent us instead of special interests. However, the actual and factual reason they would take their "vacations" when the country has been at war for 10 plus years and is economically and morally in rapid decline, is because they have no such problems, themselves. They're doing just fine the way it is.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    August 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  75. George in PA

    When I was a youngster, my father would teach me the meaning of old sayings. He was wise because I still remember them to this day as a senior citizen. I believe the answer to your question is contained in the old saying "If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen".

    August 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  76. Gayle Little

    It's an intentional avoidance issue. By not being there, Congress continues it's attack against anything Obama – which has been their goal since Obama was sworn into office. Additionally, by not being there and doing what we the American public, are paying them for, they use it as their obscured perception that Obama has failed with his presidency. What they don't realize is that Americans know about the unethical actions that Congress is involved in. Time to kick the nay-sayers out of office, and put in people who have a more positive role and willingness to actually work for the American people, instead of participating in the negative destruction of America.

    Casper, Wyoming

    August 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  77. BILL, WI

    The reason they took the five weeks off is for the same reason they have not accomplished anything for the last three years. They only think about themselves.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  78. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    They are just so tired of doing nothing for their country and just want to do something nice with their families. Isn't that quaint.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  79. bill j

    they must be taking after obama. he's been on vacation since day one.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  80. Brandon Harrison, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

    They don't pass much in the way of legislation these days so it's not as if they will be missed.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  81. Larry M.

    Because congress wants to play kick the can in an attempt to get their guy for president elected, is the simple answer. The truth is Beohner is not much of leader and can't put together votes to get compromises with the senate. The whole right wing wants to blame the president, when legally it is the congress's responsibility to write law and that means the senate and house have to work together.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  82. Nick from Weatherly, PA

    They are taking a vacation because they, like us, know that nothing good is going to get done anyway so why get cooked in the capitol when you can spend time with your family. Another possible reason is the fact that they know that it is out of their hands and the nation's decline is better watched from safer shores then up close. Though we all know that the people we elect don't have the power and nor do we as it is the lobbyist and the big businesses that make all the choices by paying off our voice in the government. All things considered it matters little difference in the long run as they do little for a lot any way you look at it.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  83. John from Alabama

    Jack: Members of Congress spend over 60% of their time getting re-elected or raising money for future political campaigns. They do not mind taking 5 weeks off, because they did not plan on doing anything before the November Elections. Fire all incumbents who take any vacation 12 months before an election. Better yet, just fire all incumbents in Congress. Jack, I am a genius.

    August 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  84. Gail, Plano TX.

    Oh, Jack, what difference does it make that Congress takes a 5 week vacation? They can do nothing at home just like they do nothing when Congress is in session. They r worthless. But I have to admit that they do a lot of abortion bills. Makes them feel important & of course that's all they want. Keep electing tea partiers to both houses. They will surely take the govt. DOWN!

    August 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  85. cy gardner

    By leaving town, they are trying to help. cy from arlington, va

    August 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  86. cy gardner

    The House Republicans are worn out by trying to solve the jobs crisis with vote after vote vainly attempting to repeal health coverage for tens of millions of Americans. They need to visit their money men to try and find out what fresh havoc they can wreak upon the backs of working and would be working people . cy from arlington, va

    August 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  87. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Why does it matter? They don't do anything when they are here anyway--in fact-they are always on vacation!

    August 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  88. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Because they are Congress. It is no longer about representing their constituents, their country, rather its all about getting re-elected, the gerrymandered congressional district guarantee that, but mostly it's about maintaining their cushy lifestyle and government-run health care, all the while denying everyone else of government-run health care and cushy jobs. Sorry Jack, but that was a stupid question.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  89. Dave from san jacinto

    Great, These guys are always on vacation i think they should consider working 5 weeks out of the year...

    August 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  90. Sylvia from San Diego

    Because we have a President who can not bring both parties together to get anything done... I blame the person at the helm (Obama) who is not an effective leader and does not know how to get things done....

    August 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  91. Ken from Kansas (Ken Kassen)

    Mitch McConnell said his first priority is to make Obama a one term president. Why do the people of Kentucky keep putting in this bigot? Why do we all keep putting in the same old junk every election? It's money, bought and paid for by the Kochs, Gates, Soros, and corporate America. It takes money to beat money. You're right, Jack, to ask why do they take a five week vacation? Because they know they're a shoo-in in their reelection bid.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  92. Dale N.M.

    You are forgetting this is Congress and Senate they are the lawmakers NOT !

    August 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  93. Ruth in Indianapolis

    I'm thankful they're gone for a while. Just think – no more stupid laws on abortion, no more asinine filabustering over reasonable laws. At last, some peace and quiet.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  94. Alex from California

    There's no question that polarization plays a role in the five-week break Congress is taking, but I wouldn't find it surprising if the reason why Congress is taking a five-week break is because they need to save the money. One day of Congress costs the American People enough as it is and you're right, the American People and the world deserve better than this will-to-fail attitude of which I learned in middle school is simply unacceptable in a competitive world.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  95. David - Augusta, Georgia

    They should not even leave the Capitol Building until someone can get these issues done with! Really, this getting crazy! People out of work, farmers needing water, the debt keeps rising, and in a few months we will be counting the hours again until a government shutdown!

    August 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  96. Jason (Lebanon, PA)

    They think we're so smart. That we could pull it together as a country of fighting ancestory while they can just sit back, relax, and enjoy their summer condoes over seas. In an economy and probably global warming climate like this, I'm one to say to congress, "I can fit in a suitcace."

    August 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  97. Overby

    I hadn't noticed they were on vacation...I'm too busy trying to keep my business running that some moron recently said I didn't build.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  98. Dave - Phx

    Because our system is hopefully broken and fraudulent. They are getting paid by their corporate masters and lobbyists and care nothing for the American people. Anyone who believes a single politician does is a fool. It's pathetic to watch people rally for these crooks and pretend that any of them want to do anything good or right.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  99. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    You ask you readers and listeners to "think out-cumbent". Please be more specific Jack and name the names of those you think should be voted out come Nov. 6th. You of all people know the banal depth of many voters and this "plea" has the potential to place the blame for all of this countries woes squarely on the POTUS. With all do respect I find this irresponsible and being of poor judgement. Be a rooster Jack and not a chicken. Roosters wake people up and chickens are, well they're just chicken.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  100. David of Alexandria, VA

    Well, like the administratio, they feel thyat their top priority is "job." That is - theirs. We seem to spend a lot of time and money electing people so they can spend a lot of their time getting re-elected - and paid to do it. O\n the brighter side, Jack, maybe these folks will get the message from the people at home - Washington must be a long way from away because they can't obviously can't hear the voters' screaming from there

    August 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  101. Jim Charlotte NC

    Because the only thing that matters to them is getting re-elected. When we stop carving out Congressional districts to make sure the people in charge stay in charge and people start to realize hat is happeing nothing will change.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  102. Jim in Michigan

    Perhaps if Congress would take a 52 week vacation each year we wouldn't have so many problems.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  103. cy gardner

    Who else can afford to take five week vacations? Let's just hope they spend their money at Disneyland or Vegas instead of shopping on the GInza or inspecting gondola safety in Venice. cy from arlington, va

    August 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  104. Robert (Seattle, WA)

    We should treat Congress the way Congress treats welfare recipients. They should be forced to actually work and take drug tests on a regular basis. If a bill is introduced in one house, both that house and the other should be required to vote on the bill within 60 days. If legislation or a nomination is blocked or filibustered, it must be resolved within 60 days. Anyone who blocks or filibusters legislation or a nomination should not be paid or allowed to receive political donations for while that block is in affect. After a 3rd block or filibuster, they should forfeit their pay and accepting political donations for the rest of the legislative turn. The act of making political donations—not receiving them—is considered political speech. The courts shouldn't have any problems with that.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  105. Linda (Lebanon, PA)

    Because that's how we do things. Someone abuses a child at pennstate and they just "sweep it under the rug" for years. High School, Junior High and Elementry children have LOW to POOR test scores....teachers take a 3 month paid vacation to reward their "hard work". Adults need to be responsible and buy health insurance...NO just let everyone else pick up your tab by paying higher premiums and costly hospital bills. Yes foks that's the way we do things. Congress enjoy your vacation. The mess you leave will be sitting on your desk when you get back...unless we finally realize someone else should have that desk and kick you all out. Now that's how we should be doing it!!

    August 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  106. John N. Seattle, WA

    Congress is "on vacation" until the November elections. Unless one party or the other gets a supermajority in BOTH houses, it will CONTINUE to be on vacation for another 2 years!

    August 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  107. Rick McDaniel

    Because they don't really want to be there. They just want the big salary without having to meet the obligations of the job.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  108. george from Binghamton

    Being on vacation for 5 weeks? That's what they've been doing for the last 2 years, why should anything be different. The Republicans in Congress are so hellbent on making sure Obama is not re-elected they're hoping the economy tanks.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  109. Ralph Nelson

    The House of Representatives has done less than the "do-nothing" Congress of Harry Truman. Every bill has to be introduced and passed by the House or nothing gets fixed or done. This is the problem. The president should run against them and ask us to throw the bums out. And tell us how he is going to fix things if we do. On vacation? Let them stay on vacation.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  110. David Gerstenfeld

    Why does a dog ..... ?; Because they can. Congress knows they can do about anything they want & the media, like you Jack ( and I like you). don't focus on the "how's, who's" to change the current system.
    David, Las Vegas

    August 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  111. jj

    My guess is that they are not in recess – they don't want Obama to do any recess appointments, or anything that actually might make sense. So, unfortunately, the lights are stll on...

    August 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  112. Peggy

    They had to go home so they can rest, make money for negative campaign ads, then go back to DC and do nothing but argue and hope they get re-elected so they can continue to do nothing but argue.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  113. Susan-NJ

    We citizens can't expect Congress to work too hard-it's the new American work ethic-one of the reasons we no longer have any manufacturing in this country and unemployment is 81/2% with 300,000-400,000 permantently leaving the work force to add to the 51% collecting welfare. We are also no longer the richest nation in the world. Congress has taken a siesta while the country falls apart.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  114. Donaldo in ATL


    Remember when the NFL strike caused the league to bring in replacement players. Well, I think we should have learned the lesson then, if you strike or simply do not do your job, we bring in replacement players. It could not get any worse with replacement players who would be motivated to keep their jobs. So, I say stay home, lets create replacement jobs, the country needs jobs, and a new example to hopefully follow. Good riddance to some sorry...........

    August 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  115. Sean from Thousand Oaks, CA

    Because behaving like shiftless 16-year-olds has been found to be easier than forming bipartisan solutions or devising common sense answers to reverse our descent into the abyss of stupidity and recklessness. Besides, once the dust settles, each party can blame our predicament on the other – so millions of Americans will simply look to our malaise as proof that electing one party will lead our scarred nation right on the road to recovery, no big deal.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  116. Dave, Denver

    The government as a whole has become incredibly disconnected from what it is to be American. Look at the averages and compare that to average politician, on an spectrum and attempt to justify what makes these people American. Pay scales, Taxes, Time off, Healthcare, Gun control.... These aren't Americans at all, they are just politicians. Recently is was deemed okay by the government for people to care guns into my place of work, my question is why is it not okay to bring guns into their place of work? What is set by them to be "American" doesn't qualify for them and therefore should remove their status as "American". Join the boat you built or get off, but stop sitting at the helm and aiming at rock while preaching about anything you are good for.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  117. Nancy, Tennessee

    What's the difference. They get the same amount done on vacation or in session. November needs to be a wake up call for Congress. They are shameless!

    August 6, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  118. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    Congress left Washington -- had I left my job when so many important problems were unsloved, I would have been fired on the spot. Also, had I conducted myself, as the Republicans have done, to not work with my manager, the President, and to fight him on every issue, again I would have been fired and chased out the door and rightfully so.. We need to keep this in mind with every Republican member of congress who is up for relection and to Mitt Romney who wants to lead the country. There appears to no longer by any Republicans who want to work for what is best for the country, all reasonable Republicans have been voted our of office by Tea Party monies and the party has then been taken over by The Tea Party crazies, but only want to hurt the President and deny him a second term. What has happened to the once-proud Republican party? I am glad my Father is not alive to see this.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  119. Irish Seanachie from Maine

    Saints preserve us don't let them back into Washington, latch the doors and secure the monies! Let them try to find a "real" job with a living wage but don't let any of them back in Washington !

    August 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  120. Randy

    Because they like their billionaire campaign donors and hundred thousand dollar dancing horse presidential candidates and "multinational" corporations are not really part of America. They are actually a global product that's on sale to the highest bidder wether it be national or international. Fiscal cliffs didn't matter until social security and Medicare/aid ran up against tax cuts for the rich and the military industrial slush fund. While bridges fell out from under the tax payers, multinationals and government were striking deals to send their jobs overseas. Over the past thirty years of trickle down government from both sides of congress and dem. And repub. Presidents, name one thing that's gotten better besides their bank accounts.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  121. calvin

    Vote them all out. set terms limits cut goverment waste stop feeding 60 million people who will not help them self. stop sending billions to our so call freinds you can buy freinds. help our senior citizen who built this country help the poor people to get a trade or education 3 to 4 years of help would be good, some people are born with ills and handycaps help them. the federal govermen should run the arm services. stop people who would steal from there own mother. states should take over education health, road maintance and evey thing that helps there state citizen. all federal elected should be taken care of until there tearms are complete and then go home for there benfits according to there help in the running of the goverment.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  122. Alex in Wisconsin

    While you and the rest of the media have been focused on blaming our current woes on either President Obama or President Bush, Congress has effectively been doing nothing since January 2011. These guys aren't worth the money they are paid. Howabout that "less spending" crowd of the Tea Party introduce a bill cutting congressional pay down to minimum wage. Maybe if they got paid by the hour, they would be more motivated to get some work done. At the very least, we could save some money by not paying them to sit on the beach.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  123. gary

    Conress = waste of air, food and water. Don't we have some guillotines around somewhere?

    August 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  124. Curt

    The answer is simple. They're not doing anything anyway and this way they can start campaigning for their next election and accept all kinds of " bribe" money from special interest groups.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  125. Mark in BC NV

    Gee, that would be a good question for Senator Harry Reid's do-nothing majority Senate. They haven't passed a budget in 3+ years, why are they obstructing progress?

    August 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  126. Paulet

    Because they just don't care - I did not see any work done this year. Could we all vote to hold back their pay or give them 50%?? Is there something out there where all of us disgusted could do something instead of waiting on their paid constitutents??? If they are bad for the country and at this point they are bad for the country!!

    August 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  127. James

    Here are some ideas:
    They work for the people so they should work like the people
    2 weeks vacation per year that is Monday thru Sunday
    No pension just social security
    When you run for next term you do it without getting paid
    The only holidays you get are the same as people who elected you
    No in house health care you make an appointment just like everyone else
    If you have personal needs for absence then take a leave w/o pay
    I could go on but no need they will be gone when they have to work

    August 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  128. Cary

    What Obama should do is send the National Guard to arrest them and confine them to Congress until they sort out this mess. Give them cots and take out pizza. It's a national emergency with 15 trillion in debt and no plan to address any of the problems we have as a nation. They've taken our money, now they can do the work.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  129. 1termlimits

    Jack – One Word! TERMLIMITS

    August 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  130. Dante

    Why does Congress believe they are entitled to another 5 week vacation when there is much work to do?


    August 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  131. Kevin from Portland

    Because their constituents support their crusade against the other party. While the approval rating of Congress as a whole is extremely low, people like their own representatives, senators, and the like - even the parties themselves state that only 30 out of 430+ House races are competitive! Here in Oregon, the incumbents are set to sweep their races (yes, Dems hold 6 of the 7 seats), and election time is not noteworthy here. Until people stop clinging to their own representatives and put their votes where their mouth is, the incumbents will win, and the hyperpartisanship will continue.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  132. Dave Becker

    These do nothing's, care less , about their record,they have no shame. When We The people rise up, they will be the first on the list!
    If this Fiscal Cliff hits, it will be their undoing!

    August 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  133. Christopher, Sarasota

    Jack, this is yet another stunning example of how useless this congress is. They take a five week vacation because they dont want to anger their parties by actually doing something, to prosper we need to stop electing these people and get people in office who are willing to work hard!

    August 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  134. Jasmine Lindros

    Congress' schedule is set by the Speaker of the House. Don't ask me why Congress feels a need to take a short break from, well, taking a long break, ask Speaker Boehner.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  135. AMF

    Our "eletced public servants" in Congress should all be ashamed of themselves. I can't wait for November.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  136. Burbank

    I only have one comment: 2012 is Voter's Revenge! I wonder how they are going to feel when they have to go out and try to get real jobs like the rest of us.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  137. I'm a Rose

    Tradition, I guess. It is what has been done for many many years. The Righty's have to go back to ask T-Party what dirty thing they should do next. The House has killed every bill that President Obama has tried to get through.
    Remember in 2010 when the Repubs took over the house and promised JOBS, JOBS, JOBS? So far they haven't created any JOBS and don't aim to.
    Obama/Biden 2012

    August 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  138. Jerome, Texas

    In our world, the real peoples world we would have been fired if we didnt get the job done. Too bad we cant fire all of them, Biggest waste of taxpayers money is with THEM running country.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  139. Lagos

    Very good start, but voting "outcumbant" does not fix any problems. That's what the American people do every time, and that has rarely if ever netted anything productive. Send a real message, and vote None Of The Above.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  140. Al from Orlando

    A retiremebt is not feasible at this time,

    August 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  141. Brian Smith

    They renamed 30 post offices – it was difficult...

    August 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  142. Robert Jones

    They do whatever they want, they give themselves whatever they want, and they DO NOT care about the American public! Congress thinks they do a lot, but what they really do is spend all day talking to people who line their pockets with money and pass legislation to help them. They don't give a rats arse about the average American or the problems we deal with because they do not understand, nor can they/do they have to, go without at any point. They have millions, get the best healthcare available, get paid forever, their kids can take out student loans and never pay them back, etc., etc., etc. The PEOPLE should be able to vote on what they get, we should not be allowing the fox to guard the hen house, but that is what is going on! Wake up and vote smart, which means getting rid of all of these guys that have been in Congress for decades.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  143. Scott F

    THIS Congress is on VACATION when they are in session. Totally USELESS!! The best way to reduce our expenses is to FIRE this Congress TODAY.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  144. jack

    Mr. Cafferty:

    Perhaps they are out in the countryside trying to "feel our pain". To help them, when they return they should find all their "stuff" out on the lawn or in front of their offices so they can.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  145. dogmom

    what private company would put up with employees that do not work by themselves, do not work with each other, are not team players, do not like where they work, ignore & pretend to not SEE what needs to be done & take action, take all the benies offered by the company that means to treat their employees well; said employees would face the pink slip firing squad real quick, no? afterall, damaging the company month/year/decade after month/year/decade is out of the realm of success; so, why do we not have a fallback agenda?

    August 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  146. Mike in PA

    Seriously, everyone should vote everyone out! The economy is in the toilet and nothing is getting better. Put them all in the unemployment line. If you don't vote you can't complain. Their replacements can only go up! Can I get a AMEN!

    August 6, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  147. Pat Gardner

    I say let them pay for their own healthcare and cut their pay just like a majority of us taxpayers have had to do.....let's see if they take that 5 week vacation....seriously disgusted....!! Besides...even if we voted some of these bozos out in November....what is really going to change????? Unless us taxpayers revolt....like US telling them what type of healthcare they have..how much vacation they get..and what kind of raises they should be getting....aren't we their boss????

    August 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  148. mike

    they should all be thrown out..every single one both sides. Idf the Dems wanted to stay and work they should have protested more and stayed on the job..5 weeks vacation what a joke. These clowns are history in my book

    August 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  149. Tim

    Jack, This congress is so bad, they do not deserve anything – especially re-election! You're right on that count. I hate that they have us by the short hairs and that they take so many benefits and deliver so little in return. I hate the politicking that is happening. I hate that they have the *excuse* of campaigning to fall back on as why they have to be so polarized. I have spent over 40 years living outside the US and find it humiliating to describe to my friends overseas what is happening here. I wish it would change, but I am in fear that it won't....that is what I hate the most.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  150. Mike (Dallas)

    Jack – I agree our Congress is being pretty useless right now, but are they really on vacation or just going home to their districts/states to work from there for a while? Isn't the time at home mandated by the constitution? While they are home, we the people should remind them it's not a vacation and let our voices be heard (loudly) that they are overpaid paperweights and should be doing what they were elected to do–some governing!

    August 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  151. Bill, Bloomington Il

    We dont need them anyway since Obama thinks he is the king. Having the dems gone is better than having them destroy the country.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  152. Pat in Michigan

    Because "I've made promises dark and deep ,and I have lots of deals to keep and I have lots of deals to keep "

    August 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  153. JRDC

    I, for one, am glad they are gone Jack. Now my hour and a half commute, to go less than 7 miles, has dropped to 25 minutes. I absolutely love August recess. Anyways, it is not like they were accomplishing a whole lot, other than naming Post Offices that is.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  154. Eric in Manhattan

    The Tea Party has held this country hostage all in the hope that one man, Obama, will lose his job and the hell with the rest of us. Congress has as much right to a vacation as a serial killer has to a pardon - none!

    August 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  155. Jack

    In real life these people only look to their own well being. Self serving and riches for they don,t believe in a hereafter so they take as they can and say you should have been able to cheat, lie like me. Judas Goats they are.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  156. Marie, North Carolina

    The five-week period to which you refer as a "vacation" is actually a constituent work period. And, while I am certain that there are many Members who will spend the majority of the five weeks on hiatus, there are many Members who do, in fact, use the five weeks for the purpose it was intended. It is important that Members of Congress not only do their work on The Hill, but that they also stay in touch with their constituents and be available to listen to their concerns. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  157. Kim

    Come on Jack you know it's tiring work to tell a lie. You have to keep telling more lies in order to keep the original lie going. Just think of all the creative juices they're using up. They need a vacation to replenish themselves for the next round of lies they are going to tell during the upcoming election. They are all nothing but a bunch of talking heads constantly spouting the same old talking point. The congressional system is broken beyond repair. Both democrats and republicans have all been bought by corporations and lobbyist before they even get to washington. It is to those people they pledge their loyalty not the average american citizens. Therefore, they will continue to do nothing but make empty promises. America is in desparate need of another revolution to get this country headed in the right direction.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  158. Mark in Houston

    Because Jack the nations business is no longer a concern to them.....like an untrained, hungry dog, they run to whoever holds the largest steak. and in today's age it's lobbyist and corporations. That's the behavior that gets them elected and that is all they care about.

    August 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  159. Rich B.

    No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.
    Judge Gideon J. Tucker

    August 6, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  160. Oscar, Houston

    I swear, if I hear "fiscal cliff" one more time, I'm going to dive off one. We cannot keep kicking the can down the road. It is time for us to get serious about deficit reduction and begin paying our huge national debt. Bush tax cuts need to expire on everybody and we have to cut defense and other discretionary spending. There is no free lunch folks. I know it is going to be painful next year, it is going to hit out GDP growth for a couple of quarters but, believe me, it is going to be less painful if we begin doing this next year than waiting 10 more years when we are forced to balance the budget with higher interest rates and inflation.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  161. Jack In Silicon Valley, California

    I think their pointing fingers need the vacation. I expect that many will receive unexpected extended vacations after the new year, when they are asked to vacate Washington.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  162. Tim in Minnesota

    Well, Jack, of course they deserve those five weeks off. After all, they have already named all of the post offices.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  163. Susan - Laguna Hills

    Because most of them has the same attitude like Mitt Romney "Put up or shut up"...They don't care and don't know what to care anymore.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  164. lynn

    because they need to go home and explain why we should vote for them .

    August 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  165. RALPH from Fayetteville , AR

    Because everyone thinks that the others should go! Our states guy is ok. They all need to go including the ones here!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  166. Jack

    Let the republicans keep taking, taking, and taking and they one day find that a human being had rather live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep. Rome fell because of this republican beliefs so can the U.S.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  167. Kim in Midland Michigan

    Because it is not illegal, Jack, and that is what gets rewarded. There is no such thing as morals or ethics, just the drum beat of "I didn't do anything illegal." And conservatives complain about too many laws. There have to be so many laws when the only thing keeping people from doing destructive, selfish, or any other behavior that thet don't want us to know about (cause then there would be a new law) is a LAW.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  168. Bob

    Why should they even be paid? Why does almost every federal politician end up a millionaire many times over – including supreme court justices – when many have never held a real job in their lives? Because this nation is absolutely corrupt – from top to bottom. I think it's too late, now, for this country to ever achieve even a semblance of democratic governance. The ruling that corporations have a First Amendment right to bribe politicans was the final nail in the coffin. Interesting how all these well-armed Americans ready to defend their way of life raised not even a whimper when political hacks on the supreme court – a court not given the expansive powers they currently wield by the Constitution – politically intereferd in a federal election and then destroyed any last hope of a non-corrupt political process. Problem is – the folks on the so-called "conservative right" are neither conservative or right – just stupid – and those on the socalled "left" appear not to understand the importance of integrity in government and democracy.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  169. John

    It's time to desolve the house and senate. All political measures will be voted on by popular vote at the beginning of each work week via the internet.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  170. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Because they can, thanks do the dumb electorate who keep putting them in office. The u.s. is bankrupt and they all try to create the illusion nothing is wrong, especially obama. There is no money for wars, trillion dollar defense budgets, trips to mars, farm aid, food stamps, medicare ,medicaid, or free education, and emergency room care for 12 milllion illegals

    August 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  171. Gary

    Please don't stop them. They cause more damage when they're in session. Personally, I'd like to see them take the rest of the year off.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  172. Dean

    What's the big deal? The people will elect them again and again. Look at Charlie Rangel, ethics violations, doesn't pay his taxes and approaching senility at 80 years of age and he gets re-elected with over 90% of the vote. The people are getting the congress they deserve.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  173. Jennifer in CT

    I would be embarrassed if I were in Congress. They are a waste of our tax payer dollars. They make sure they are taken care of and then they take a vacation. They have a job (for now), they have healthcare for LIFE (thanks to us), they are not concerned about the farmer or his dried up fields or whether a family has food to put on the table at dinner time. They have PLENTY of money and not a care in the world. Maybe they need to be reminded...

    I think they should live the life of an average American person. We have "Undercover Boss" we need "Undercover Senator" who has to make the choice of filling his/her gas tank (at back up to $4 a gallon in CT) or letting his/her kid go on a school trip or play a sport, and for some put food on the table. THAT is reality! GROW UP AND DO YOUR JOB!! They are so worried about making sure President Obama does not look good and placing the blame on him for everything that is wrong with this country that they cannot see that they are the biggest part of the problem.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  174. Louis

    Somebody elected these corrupt political hacks. Did you vote for any of them? If so, you are partially to blame. Stop voting over and over agailn for the same idiots and create an entirely new Congress of people who run a campaign to completely change how Congress performs.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  175. Jun Xu

    If you look back through history, every great empire falls not from external pressures but from internal factors first. The American core is rotting away, and it starts with congress and our politicans. I run a business, and what I've learned is that a business follows the example and culture set by its leaders. If our current politicans are suppose to exemplify american leadership, then we're all doomed as Americans.

    When you loose a race, it's not because other people ran faster than you, it's because you didn't run fast enough. Step up to the plate, accept the facts and responsibilities as they are, and let's move people! We want leaders that share the credit and take the blame. Not the other way around. My parents moved to the USA to find opportunities that did not exist in China in the 80's. This is still that country, if we get our act together.

    With the amount of money we've given to bail out the banks, we could have created millions of jobs for middle class hard working americans and entire new industries. The USA needs to invest in infrastructure (electrical grid / highway / bridges / a high speed rail system), renewable energy production and research. Let's just start there.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  176. Joe

    Congress needs to read "Zax" by dr. Seuss. A simple child's story is sometimes wiser than congress ever could be:

    ".. For I live by a rule
    That I learned as a boy back in South-Going School.
    Never budge! That's my rule. Never budge in the least!
    Not an inch to the west! Not an inch to the east!
    I'll stay here, not budging! I can and I will
    If it makes you and me and the whole world stand still!"

    August 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  177. Stephanie in Seattle

    I think the bigger question is... why do we elect these jokers. Add to it the most divisive and childish president in my lifetime...and I've seen about a dozen of them, which should tell you why we're in the mess we are.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  178. Justcause

    Because the lazy hooligans are WAY out of touch with plight of the working families of this country. They are tired from all the back stabbing, manipulation and tom foolery they beset upon themselves. Greece's govt. could learn a thing or twelve from these bunch of crooks.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  179. Danny

    What you're asking is irrelevant. They wouldn't be doing anything even if they were there. It's an election year, Congress never does anything of note.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  180. DaleW in MA

    If they're NOT in session, people's expectations are more in line with their performance. This completely dysfunctional congress will go down in history as one of the worst, if not the worst.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  181. Ed

    they are not taking another vacation...they are continuing the one they have been on for 2 years...........

    August 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  182. Michael

    WHAT JOBS HAS CONGRESS CREATED? i KNOW! The "repug;lican" congress has stopped, blocked or fillibustered every "jobs" bill submitted by the president! Repuglicans wasted American Taxpayer money, when they tried to repeal Healthcare Bill (33) times, Plan Parenthood (14) times, but passed dereuglation bills and accomplished nothing where jobs are concerned! Repuglicans complain abpout the fiscal clift, which they agreed too, they voted approving these cuts, now they are bashing, denigrating, and knawing at the bit because of their own votes! The epititomy of hypocrisy is repuglican inaction, incediary remarks, inconsistent rhetoric, and do nothing congress!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  183. John Elefante

    Because they JUST Don't Care !!!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  184. Jeff

    They want to follow in the footsteps of those in Europe for whom 5 week vacations is the norm. Next step...austerity measures.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  185. Chuck Buda

    Just one question:

    If prostitution is illegal,
    why is Congress still in business?

    August 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  186. Vance

    Because they are a bunch of SPINELESS -–

    August 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  187. Dolores Surprise AZ

    They don't do anything anyway so they might as well be gone. The answer to this problem is TERM LIMITS...

    August 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  188. Old Guy

    They are scared about loosing their job to some other good for nothing lying politician. They need time off to lie first to slander their opponet before he can tell the truth about their job in congress with a few more lies to make your pittaful job sound even worst and lie about how theywill fix things.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  189. Meagan

    Because they don't know how to fix the problems...

    August 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  190. Jack

    Mr. Cafferty:

    Because they are not problem solvers, they are opportunists !

    August 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  191. Kimmy, Salisbury NC

    They should be fired, all of them, If a normal working person does not meet their goals and objectives, they get no raise and if it continues they get fired.
    Next time they have a budget issue, no threats taking away from medicare, social security or the military pay..... Cut the pay of the president, house, senate ..... or they
    can take off for 5 weeks with out pay.... sound good everybody?

    August 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  192. Sparky

    They have no backbone or true convictions.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  193. Shawn Rongey

    They are not taking a 5 week vacation, more like a 5 week leave of absence, since they've already been of vacation for 3.5 years!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  194. RickFromDetroit

    There are a lot of excellent bars, restaurants, and lounges in Washington D.C. and the Congress needs to go home and get some rest for the next session of congress.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  195. Bob Meteer

    Bob From NC – Jack, They take it cause they can – and they are way beyond caring about what the country thinks about them. Our problems and schedules don't matter much anymore Jack. Congress only has time for the lobbyists and managing/building their own retirement funds!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  196. Lisa

    Hey Jack, I'm considering joining Congress now because these long vacations don't sound half bad. Seeing how I have friends and family struggling to make ends meet with far less vacation time, maybe being a politician is what we should all invest in!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  197. Chris in WI

    It seems to me that they do less damage when they are on vacation. This crop needs to be put on perminant vaction in favor of another batch that contains a few officials who know how to get along kindergarten style. You know, share fairly in our taxes and get along with others.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  198. Roger

    I think while they are on vacation we should vote in the following:

    1) Term Limits
    2) Pay cuts to bring them in line with Hard Working Americans
    3) When they serve two terms they get the same benefits that the rest of America gets.
    4) Cut out ALL lobbist.

    I know I am dreaming but someday AMERICAN's are going to wake up and see the fleecing of our hard earned money. Y

    August 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  199. Jenna Roseville CA

    Why would Congress take a five-week vacation with all the problems facing the country?

    Jack you act like this is the first vacation that they have taken this year. I wish my hubby had as much paid time off as they do. It would be great if he could sit around and do nothing and bloviate LIES about the Democrats who have been trying to actually DO SOMETHING while getting a full salaray and cadillac health care on American Taxpayer's dime.

    I am with you VOTE OUT ALL REPUBLICANS and vote IN Democrats and Independents!

    We need to give the Democrats a Super Majority to get ANYTHING done which is sad.

    Roseville CA

    August 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  200. Gary Costello

    At best, they are cowards and grossly inept; at worst; they are guilty of intentionally sabotaging the viability of this nation while simultaneously ensuring their own personal and greedy agendas are satisfied. I've long ago determined that collectively they can not be trusted and individually are fundamentally are deceitful...or becime corrupted after election and routinely engage in deceptive practices while actually believing doing that is 'acceptable behaivior' and that all of us who aren't immersed in politics are too stupid to realize it and too dumb to do anything about it. Simply stated, Washington isn't broken; rather, it is FUBAR.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  201. biggeorge23

    You have to blame the Republican's and for one reason alone. They have said "NO" to everything! No compromise. It's so bad that even people in their own party are starting to quit. They were sent to work for us, but it seems like they work ONLY for their corporate donations. Help us OBI Wan Obama, you're only only hope... Vote Democratic, the lesser of two evils.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  202. Abe

    This may be an unpopular view, but members of Congress are just like everyone else when it comes to benefits in the workplace. If you have a contract with your employer in which the contract cannot be instantly terminated, vacation days cannot be docked in lieu of being fired unless it's in the contract. You can only fire your member of Congress every two years.

    New York

    August 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  203. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    It's simple Jack......They ignore the country's problems simply because the voters have not insisted on term limits for all members of Congress but we impose a two term limit on the President. Let's level the playing ground!!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  204. mary gray

    It's simple,The Republicans said their number one job is to make President Obama a one term President,so they have no reason to work for the people,and they simply don't care.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  205. Ray Hatch

    They have been treated like royalty. Their actions speak volumes as to the disdain they have for the people who elected them.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  206. nancy mcginnis

    The congress is up for re-election; they need to visit all their corporate friends and collect their PAC contributions and find out what laws they want passed next term. They don't want to vote NO any more this year or listen to more complaints about jobs and foreclosures.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  207. Ned in Chattanooga

    Because they can and knowing you or we can't do anything about it !!!! Time off equals free Money.....

    August 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  208. Abin Sur- Ungara

    Calm yourself, Mr. Cafferty, calm yourself. The House has done exactly what it needs to do, pass bills to repeal Obamacare 35 times and pass one hundred bills to limit a women's right to an abortion. O' and I forgot that last year they refused to extend the debt ceiling almost throwing the world into another recession. Welcome to the America of Anton Scalia, where money talks and the Congress walks. And if you liked this edition, wait till after the election. If the Republicans succeed in buying the election you will be the proud citizen of an oligarchy. Hope you like it. I wont'!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  209. Joseph Feng from San Jose, California

    Your basic premise is incorrect. We should go back to the Clinton tax rates that produced the best record of economic growth since the end of World War II. The Bush tax cuts only made things worse. The "fiscal cliff" is a boogeyman story intended to frighten the gullible.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  210. Fernando

    I dont know but I wish I could a five week vacation. Ive done more things this summer than those so called "work-aholics". Why would they need a vacation? They have nothing to show for. This country's in debt and they do nothing. Its time for the american people to take charge and votes these fools out.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  211. Larry Buford

    CNN's Christine Roman said it all. She calls it 'congressional malpractice'. Some Congress members are so full of themselves, they're constipated and nothing is moving

    August 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  212. John Elefante

    It's because none of them are affected by this countries problems. They pretend to care about us but the truth is they JUST DON'T CARE!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  213. Gene Brown (St. Louis, MO)

    They can take a permanent vacation for all I care.....Kick the bumbs out.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  214. Ponzithegreat

    Because anyone who would actually make a good government official (not politician) is:
    1) Too smart to want to punish themselves by joining our government
    2) Too principled to sell out
    3) Too underfunded to ever win
    4) Or actually lived a life and that would result in being embarrassed at a national level (as opposed to after being elected when you can do what you want)

    August 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  215. Jim in Utah

    So the majority of the members of the House can get their newest marching orders from the Tea-Partiers.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  216. jim largo, Fl.

    Jack If there nothing to vote for such as an increase of their own pay and other benefits, might as well go home to
    get re elected.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  217. Ray Hatch

    We should wage a war on greed, dishonesty and abuse of power.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  218. Harold Sokolove

    Vacation?? Vacation?? Vacation from what? I hadn't noticed they had been working.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  219. Ingrid from NY

    They just don't care. Ehat we need to do is renegotiate their over $170k salary, health care, lengthy vacations & pension retroactively to help bring down our deficit! That will be a substantial savings for the country & they owe big time!!!!!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  220. Peter

    Congress is now taking a 5 week Vacation. This is quite the unproductive set of people. I remember when I was in school, and if I was unproductive throughout the year, I had to take summer school classes. Does this mean that Congress is now using the option of "No Chlild Left behind for themselves?" Perhaps "No Law Maker Left Behind"

    -Peter from Connecticut

    August 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  221. Mike

    Because the Republicans have crazy people in their party that would be happy to bring down the government.
    Mike in Irvine, CA

    August 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  222. Randy, Summerville, SC

    Tanning booth isn't doing it for John Boehner any more. He needs some time on the beach.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  223. Mike

    The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence states, in part:

    … we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    Kind of says it all, doesn’t it? It’s long past time, folks … our government is broken and will not fix itself, so we must do it ourselves.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  224. Johnny

    Because The Republican Obstructionists led House has filibustered on an unprecedented level more than the previous 111 Congress', they the Obstructionists will not help the people of this country, they voiced their planned strategy in 2009, their job and goal is to make this President a one term President. Unwilling to compromise on legislation they themselves introduced or supported in the past shows, they do not have this country's best interests at heart. They have jobs they obviously don't care about 'US' people having them. Sabotaging the economy and jobs market is on them to blame not this President.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  225. BJ Blinston

    There are only 537 problems with government. Fortunately they are all the same breed: POLITICIANS

    August 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  226. biggeorge23

    Remember, it was the GOP that clearly created this mess for the Democrat's to clean up. The same thing happened with the first George Bush if you recall. Clinton cleaned that and gave GWB a huge surplus and a balanced budget too that he squandered. Ronald Reagan compromised for the good of the country. This GOP party has lost their minds and we are all paying for it...

    August 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  227. Evelyn in Utah

    Let them stay on vacation.They just take take up space in Washington anyway.We should put them on a permanent vacation.Work seems to scare the hell out of them.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  228. Beth Greenman

    Simple answer, chickens running away from reality. Both Republicans and Democrats , until the voters in this country stand up and say no to all
    Of them we are up a creek with out a paddle

    August 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  229. Debra

    They got voted in 2010 on the promise to fix the economy and they BLEW IT. They don't work anyway so they might as well go home.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  230. Ron from NEBR.

    Fact finding trips? Right!!! Come on Wolf, you know better than that. They will get plenty of facts. Where is the best places to spend the tax payers money!!! And guess who will fall off that "fiscal cliff"? It will be the middle and poor class. The rest of that 2% is above the law, so they think, and cant wait for it all to come down. We will never be able to vote any of them out because politics is all about money and he who has the most will win. I personally think all of them should have a 52 wk vacation–maybe something would then get done. Their just a bunch thugs!!!!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  231. Gary (Ottawa)

    Jack, while they're on vacation, congresscritters can connect with all of the clowns who elected them. Sorry, but the American people are getting exactly the government they deserve and voted for. You think that up here we don't worry about what you're doing to yourselves? When you go down you'll take us (and Europe) with you...

    August 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  232. Jonathan Swift

    Congress is taking a 5-week vacation? How can you tell?

    August 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  233. Barbara Scaglione

    There are many questions that need to be answered by Congress. They don't care about Americans, how dare they go on a vacation with the mess we are in. What business allows employees to take off during an emergency. You can bet I will not vote for ANY incumbant and other Americans are doing the same. They should be ashame of themselves.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  234. hivoltg

    Hey Jack,

    Now you know why people would spend millions on a campaign to get into congress. You don't have to do anything and you get tons of vacation!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  235. John Elefante

    It's because none of them are affected by this countries problems. They pretend to care about us but in reality couldn't care less. They have a job,a paycheck and the best medical plan our tax dollars can buy.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  236. spendthrift

    no doubt middle class tax payers are supporting the bill for this 5 week paid leave , while this gop congress goes out and party with their billionaire friends.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  237. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    It's probably better for the country with them on vacation and not screwing things up any worse than they already are.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  238. Gloria A.

    Blitzer seems to think its because this off-time is necessary for much-needed fact-finding trips. However, in this age of social media, Skype and various means of telecommuting – not to mention the looming deficit – those trips could and should be conducted virtually whenever possible. That would save both time and precious tax-payer dollars.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  239. Old Guy

    What is really sad is that despite Congress' sad approval rating, the same leadership will prevale. Bonehead, McConnell, and Cantor will lead the Republicans and Pelosi and Reid will still lead the Democrats. Where else would you continue to re-elect the same lousy leadership. Those of you from W.V, Kentucky, Ohio, California and Nevada, please elect someone else. If you are rebublican just elect a different republican. If you are a democrat, voter for a different democrat. Just stop electing these numbskulls. The rest of you dumb politicians, stop voting for these idiots!!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  240. Amy

    Are you kidding, Jack? Frankly I'm glad this do nothing congress is taking vacation. The collective blood pressure of the entire nation can go down. I just hope every voting American will remember just how little has been accomplished under this congress due to partisan and poison politics come November.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  241. Ken, Fall River MA

    Right or Left, there is no difference between them except all their rhetoric. Hey! At least by taking all this time off, they can screw up anything else!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  242. Allen

    I don't know Jack. I wish I had their job and they had mine.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  243. Mike in Byron

    Because they can. Same reason their pay raises are automatic. It's arrogance. Let's get rid of pelosi, reid, mcconnell, speaker of the house what's his name, and about a couple dozen others.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  244. Ed in wisconsin

    Tell me about the Post Offices..Jack..We can't have named them all.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  245. Steve

    Because taking the month of August for vacation is what everyone does in France. You have to sympathize with people who can't even remember what country they live in.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  246. J.T.

    There is a lot of "party bashing" in the comments. We have a Republican-controlled house and a Democrat-controlled senate. The 5 week vacation and ineffectiveness is bipartisan. People need to see past their own bias and ideology and refocus their energy towards challenging their own elected representatives to be effective while they're back home. And if that doesn't work, make a change with your vote in November!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  247. michaelgoldcraft

    Here's my Congressional Leadership Score, Jack. It is a 0.1% approval rating. They get a tenth of one percent for running for re-election so I can vote them out. Congress fiddles while America LEARNS...in the Capitol, the lights are on, but nobody is home. Oops, wrong. They've all gone home to rest and relax!.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  248. longtooth

    Let them go. Five weeks of Congress doing nothing means five weeks of no harm done.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  249. Frank Maisano

    Come on Jack, your question feeds the the lack of undertanding of politics. Everyone one of these guys/gals in Congress works EVERY day, whether they are in the district or in Washington. You can mock, but switch places with them for a day and walk around the district. You'll find that they don't ever really get a day off. I worked for Congressional members for 10 years. It's a job I'd never take... Frank Annapolis, MD

    August 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  250. ybfola

    There is no accountability. Who will they answer to? Certainly not the American electorate. We continue to recycle them, even though thy have never shown that they have the country's best interest at heart.

    To quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "No one can ride your back, unless you bend over," We, the electorate have bent over far too long !

    August 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  251. Paul Greenwood

    If it is not about complete restrictive abortion legislation or making sure English is our official language this Republican led congress has no time for it. The jobs jobs jobs screaming they ran on in 2010 has not quite made it to the important enough status yet. They have proven that attendance does not matter. Now that they are gone they will still get the same equivalent of nothing done.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  252. Atul

    Why is congress going on a five week vacation? Why not... I think they should go on a permanent vacation..really.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  253. jangocat

    Blame the American people. Something like 60% of our countrymen are too lazy and apathetic to vote. And the 40% of us that do bother to vote elect the same out of touch millionaires for decades on end. People like to take shots at the French, but they had an over 90% turnout their last election and will vote for more then two parties. So you tell me who's dumb? Americans who barely show up and blindly support their party like a sports team, or the French whom the majority vote and think independently?

    August 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  254. Steve

    Perhaps if they were paid per vote we'd get some bills passed. Nevermind that it's basically the same as paying a child for good grades...

    August 6, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  255. Benjamin

    What else do you expect? They are government employees after all.
    Benjamin from Boston, MA

    August 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  256. Languishing Laura

    Because they can and because they don't care. Hope we can vote the extremist repubs out of office before they detroy us. Love a two party system but these guys just don't get it and have got to go.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  257. Agrope' from Lecanto Florida

    Jack, All ~
    Ya think it's time for a Constitutional Convention... ...before the country does fall off the cliff?
    How about term limits?
    How about Minimum wage + $5/hour for Congressional pay – but only paid if the Congress has accomplished its work for the session (i.e.: If you do nothing for 7 months, you are paid nothing for 7 months).
    Must sell all business interests before running for office.
    Lobbying as it is currently practiced should be outlawed – way too much graft.
    $200,000 campaign dollar ceiling – from any source – for any office!
    If Congress' work performance fails two sessions in a row, not only should a single incumbent be forbidden to run for re-election, but they should be fined for each unsuccessful session and be imprisoned for treason.
    For a start...

    August 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  258. blueburner

    I'm glad you laughed at Wolf Blitzer who tried to defend lawmakers taking yet another 5-week vacation from all their hard work on NOTHING. Why would they call it vacation if they were continuing to work finding facts...about what, may I ask? The facts are pretty apparent with regard to the economy and joblessness right here in the USA.

    The last time I took a 5-week vacation with pay, it was when I was unemployed receiving an unemployment check. I'm not voting for any congressional incumbents because I refuse to give them job security and lifetime benefits for doing nothing.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  259. Name*Cathy from Alabama

    Its simple, Congress are a bunch guys sponging off the American people, government insurance, and profiting off inside information... They are not concerned with the state of the people that voted them into office and quite frankly should be voted out. We need people in office that put the American people before politics.

    They are not feeling the stress from all the ills of society or they wouldn't be so impotent...

    Let's threaten to take away their insurance and reduce their salaries and I guarantee we'll get some things done!


    August 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  260. Avery

    We as Americans should develop a non-partisan national evaluation that assess their work ethic, willingness to work with the other party, their tact, and their ability to pass important laws. I have to admit, as a teacher, it is funny to watch both parties talk about ensuring that teachers show positive results, yet they have yet to show the American people and the world anything but a dysfunctional government. Let's push for more results! If they can not do their job, we should fire them! In fact, let's just fire EVERY ELECTED OFFICIAL in the H of R, Senate, Exec. Branch, etc, and replace them with the best of America!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  261. wendy in key largo

    Jack, Jack, Jack... There are exceptions, but for the most part: They NEED a full 5 weeks of 'vacation'. It takes a lot of time to: Meet w/their Investment Banker, their stockbroker, the contractor who's building the new boathouse at the new lake house, meet w/their hometown CEOs on the golf course to discuss the new 'government projects' that will need 'pushing-thru' in '13. They need time to meet w/the Headmasters of their kid's private schools, to attend their campaign fundraisers. – They're not doing anything productive in DC anyway..... *sigh*

    August 6, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  262. Ron , West Coast

    The simple answer is,.... as Mitch McConnell stated, and the republican congress affirmed , their number one priority is to make Barack Obama a one term president .
    The republican congress has been on vacation since Jan. 20th , 2009 . When the republican congress became the majority in 2010` the repubs basically controlled the country and put our economy in a death spiral to the bottom . Anything to make president Obama appear to be incompetent to manage the economy and the country .
    The media is partly to blame also, because until your questioning the practice of congress seemingly not concerned about the dire situation that our country is in, and they still take a five week vacation, is beyond the pale .
    Those who do not want Obama to be re-elected should just not vote for him, and the republican congress should let the people make the decision as to whether or not he is re-elected, and they as elected officials should go about the business of the people and help Obama restore our jobs and economic security .
    The congress does not deserve to take a five week vacation nor one week, with our country and economy in such bad shape .

    August 6, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  263. montgomeryinvestor

    John Boenher and this congress is so busy doing nothing they really don't have time to do this country business. Let's fire them all in November.

    Henry, AL

    August 6, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  264. grandpa

    I would love for cnn to put out a story on all the benefits these dirty bums get, salary, insurance, retirement, travel expence, office expense, time off. Everything from a to z. Let the tax payers see what the bottome line is on how much they cost the Americans tax payers per year and years after they leave office......

    August 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  265. Jun Xu

    I should really be working, but..

    The way to change congress is probably not to purge all the congresspeople and put in new ones. It's by changing the compensation structure for congressmen so they are incentivized to help the USA grow. Just like we are trying to tie corporate salaries with performance, let's tie congressional salaries with performance. Set up a special committee to do that!. Dollars well spent I say.

    The "perk" that really gets me the most is that congresspeople cannot get arrested for insider trading while everyone else can. Oh wait – they made that illegal for themselves but not their family members. Well at least they have more interesting dinner conversations with family members than they they do on the hill. Beef (pun intended) anyone?

    August 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  266. Brian Samuels (Chicago)

    They might as well take a year off Jack. Any place where compromise is a bad word, cannot produce a democratic solution.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  267. Raymond Champion II

    Congress gerrymandered district boundaries years ago to result in 95% reelection rates. It's now almost impossible for incumbent Representatives to lose, despite what they do (or don't do) for voters. In fact, Motley Fool shows that Congress is basically a lifetime appointment: "From 2002 to 2008, 12 congressional incumbents lost in primary elections. During that time, 13 members died in office. So the odds of losing a primary are lower than the odds of dying in office."

    August 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  268. Jeff Rudisill

    Replace elected representatives with representatives chosen by a lottery system. Replace politicians with "We, the People". Advantages:
    – Removes the corrupting influence of money;
    – Opens representation to a broader segment of the population;;
    – Democratizes the representative system.

    Educators, small business persons, auto mechanics, et al, can focus on issues unhampered by political party loyalties and fundraising commitments, resulting in better decisions. Compare this to our existing culture.

    As I understand the US Constitution, a lottery system to select House of Representative members would be constitutional, as opposed to Senators, which must be elected.

    Alternative: Combine the two systems. Choose candidates by lottery instead of primary political elections, then elect the representative from those candidates.

    Jeff Rudisill
    Sierra Madre, CA

    August 6, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  269. Shawn Balch

    Outcumbent, great word! It would be epic to see 95% of them replaced. Unfortunately that would only stop (some) of them from getting kickbacks from lobbyists etc, but they will still get paid for the rest of their lives, if they've served for 5 years after 50 years old! And 80% of their highest 3 year average....are you kidding me?! This is substantially more than 80% of the country that puts in 20+ years to their retirements. I say term limits at 6 years and no retirement, make em go get another job after they have destroyed the job market. Who knows, maybe we will get people in congress who are there for the right reasons. As it is, seems like the majority of them just wanna be elected, and make it to at least 5 years. so they can reap the rewards financially, and at that point, they stop caring (if they ever actually did) about actually doing their jobs. I know I work 10x as hard as they do, and while being a 70% disabled vetreran, and I haven't been able to go on even a week vacation in more than 10 years. I likely won't have a retirement after what has at 42 years old already been 27 years of working. It'll take me another 30years of dead end jobs, before i may have a little bit of a retirement. And that is only if i live long enough to be freed from this indentured servitude. This isn't why i served this country, and to see them taking a vacation, when they have been such a lame duck Congress, really makes me sick to my stomach. It's seems criminal!

    August 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm |